After an initial unveiling late last month, Madison-based development firm Willow Partners announced Monday that it has formally submitted updated plans for a 192-unit apartment tower at the site of the Goll Mansion at 1550 N. Prospect Ave. on Milwaukee’s East Side. After hitting pause on the project five years ago, the firm announced in late October that it was about to reboot the project, with an updated design. The new plans call for the same number of units as in 2017, but in a slimmer package, reduced height and setback from neighboring structures. In its first iteration, the apartment tower – named 1550 Prospect – was slated to be 28 stories, 301 feet tall, and about 83 feet wide. The amended plan calls for 25-story building that is 277 feet high and roughly 74 feet wide. The new building will also be set back farther from 1522 On the Lake, the 18-story condo tower immediately to the south of the Goll Mansion. Where the original design called for a 51-foot distance between the two structures, the new one has them at 60 feet apart. Balcony changes The documents submitted Monday also call for removing all 38 balconies on the north side of the building that had been part of plans unveiled last month. Speaking about the change, Devon Patterson, a principal of Chicago-based architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), said the development team realized that balconies on the north side of the building “would not be as beneficial because they are in the shadows a lot.” Monday’s plans also call for recessing the balconies on the south side of the building. In the plans unveiled last month those balconies had stuck out by around five feet. Updated plans show them projecting by just six inches. “They’re just less encroaching now,” Patterson said. Chris Houden Jr., managing partner with Willow Partners, noted that all the changes made to the design were either suggested by aldermen representing the area – Fourth District Alderman Bob Bauman and incoming Third District Alderman Jonathan Brosthoff – or the 1522 On the Lake condo association. “The idea was to preserve as much green space as possible,” Houden added. Other updates to the plan also include a better connection to the nearby Oak Leaf Trail, and a circle drive in front of the Goll mansion that will allow delivery drivers to drop packages at a package center in the now vacant mansion. Developers are also requesting two temporary loading zones that can be used by delivery or rideshare drivers. [caption id="attachment_559149" align="aligncenter" width="755"] Updated plans for Willow Partners' Goll Mansion apartment tower call for nixing all northside balconies, and recessing south ones. (Rendering courtesy of SCB)[/caption] Other details The new building would also have six floors devoted to providing 210 parking spaces, three above grade and three below. The building’s gross square footage would total 228,002 square feet, about 20,000 square feet less than in the 2017 plans. The $69 million, high-end apartment building will feature a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a few three-bedroom units. The idea with the redesign, said Houden, is to cto try to “create better externalities” for the building in an While Willow could move forward with the city-approved original Goll Mansion tower design – what Houden calls “Option A” – he believes the new design for 1550 Prospect – “Option B” – will be more attractive to neighbors and city officials. The revival of the project itself comes as the city has seen a boom in high-end apartment tower development. The 25-story, 259-unit Ascent at 700 E. Kilbourn Ave. welcomed its first residents in July. The 44-story, 322-unit Couture, currently under construction at 909 E. Michigan St., is slated for partial occupancy in fall 2023. And the 31-story Hines apartment tower is under construction in the Historic Third Ward. Asked last month about competing for market share with those projects, Houden said that while potential market saturation is always a factor to consider when moving ahead with high end apartment projects, he said he is “very confident the market had the depth to absorb (the) asset” and that it will ultimately be “very successful.” What sets the 1550 Prospect project apart from the other high end apartment towers recently completed or under construction in Milwaukee, is its East Side location on Prospect Avenue, Houden said. “The walkability score (for the Goll Mansion site) is in the upper 90s. But ultimately it is being on that bluff. It’s getting 360-degree uninhibited views of the lake and the cityscape,” he said. The development plan still calls for moving the Goll Mansion itself 36 feet closer to the street, but there will no longer be underground parking constructed below the home. “We are using masonry materials to tie the two projects together,” Patterson said, while still using floor-to-ceiling glass for the apartments themselves that will give the tower a more modern feel overall. The mansion, which was purchased – as part of the entire site – by Willow Partners earlier this year for $2.87 million, is currently vacant, but Houden said the company will find a use for the building that benefits the neighborhood and city at large. Patterson noted that moving the mansion closer to the street puts it more in line with other setbacks on Prospect Avenue. “Right now, it is pushed back so it doesn’t really have the prominence but pulling it out you will be able to see it more,” he added. What’s next? With the original project plan having already received approval back in 2017, the city approval process for the updated 1550 Prospect plans could be a swifter this time around. That being said the amended plans will still need to undergo review by the City Plan Commission, the Zoning Neighborhoods & Development Committee (ZND) and the Common Council. Should those approvals go smoothly, Houden said he hopes to break ground on the project sometime in mid-to-late summer of 2023.