Chicago-area developer plans to convert riverfront office building in downtown Milwaukee into apartments

Units expected to open spring 2023

Credit: Google
Credit: Google

Last updated on May 14th, 2021 at 11:03 am

Rosemont, Illinois-based 3L Real Estate has acquired the River Bank Plaza, a downtown Milwaukee office building located along the Milwaukee River at 740 N. Plankinton Ave., and plans to convert it into roughly 130 apartments.

The company announced this week it had acquired the eight-story, 82,000-square-foot office building. The 109-year-old building has the Rock Bottom Brewery on its ground floor.

It will be turned into the RiverWalk Lofts, with work slated to begin next year and finish by spring 2023. Rock Bottom will remain, according to 3L.

While the unit mix is still being finalized, 3L said it will have studio, one- and two-bedroom units, plus rooftop duplex three-bedroom units. They will be offered at a variety of price points, making them accessible to students, young professionals and those seeking “higher-end offerings,” according to the announcement.

The building sold for $5.83 million, according to state records. Joseph Slezak, founder and chief executive of 3L, said the redevelopment work will amount to a $15 million investment.

The building was previously owned by River Bank Plaza LLC, and has an assessed value of roughly $4.5 million, according to city records. Patrick Gallagher and Matson Holbrook of CBRE represented the seller in the transaction.

“3L is excited to add another exciting project to Milwaukee’s booming downtown,” Slezak said in a statement. “This building has had a long legacy on the Milwaukee River as the area has evolved over the past century, and 3L is proud to be redesigning it for the next century as part of Milwaukee’s growth on the national stage.”

3L was founded in 2015, and focuses on adaptive reuse of underused buildings.

The River Bank Plaza is the latest downtown office building slated for an apartment conversion. Earlier this year, a local investors group acquired the Sentinel Building at 225 E. Mason St. and plans to convert it into 33 residential units.

Milwaukee developer J. Jeffers & Co. is converting parts of the former Journal Sentinel office complex southwest of West State Street and North Vel R. Phillips Avenue into housing. The project includes 141 market-rate units and 195 beds of affordable housing for Milwaukee Area Technical College students.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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