Chicago firm purchases Teweles Seed apartment tower

Company behind Tannery Complex rehab, planning facade work, updates at 104-year-old brick building

A Chicago investment and development firm has purchased the Teweles Seed apartment tower in Walkers Point, with plans to rehabilitate the 104-year-old warehouse turned apartment complex. (Photo courtesy of R2 Companies)

Last updated on July 21st, 2022 at 01:54 pm

A Chicago-based real estate investment and development firm has purchased the Teweles Seed Tower building in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point neighborhood, with plans to rehabilitate the 104-year-old warehouse turned apartment complex.

R2 Companies — known locally for their renovation of The Tannery Office Complex in Walkers Point and for their dramatic plans to redevelop the downtown Milwaukee Post Office complex, which never moved forward — bought the 14-story Teweles Seed building at 222 S. Third St. for $9 million, according to state property transfer records.

Constructed in 1918 for the Teweles Seed company, the building was converted into a 115-unit apartment complex in 2003 by St. Paul, Minn.-based Common Bond Communities, which sold it to R2 Co.

Apartments at the building are split between affordable and market rate units, and will remain that way under the new ownership.

Zack Cupkovic, director of acquisitions and special projects for R2, said the company plans do to “a pretty substantial renovation” of the loft-style apartment building.

“It is a combination of capital projects – façade issues have been a focal point of the city – as well as more design-oriented renovations to the exterior and interior,” Cupkovic said.

Common Bond isn’t a company with experience doing building-wide rehabilitation program, Cupkovic said, so the sale to R2 made sense. In addition to the work needed on the brick façade, the building needs a new roof work and shoring up of some windowsills to make sure there is no water infiltration, he said.

“We actually own the Tannery (and have done a lot of renovation work there),” Cupkovic said. “We have bought over 50 older warehouse buildings (across the country). We are just really good at rehabbing old buildings. Being in Chicago this is a project that we can manage really well.”

In addition to the exterior work, the company will also be making updates to common spaces, like the lobby and gym, as well as some apartments.

“It’s a great building. It has tall ceilings, huge window lines, but some of the finishes are dated,” Cupkovic said.

The company plans to begin work on the building by the end of year.

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Cara covers commercial and residential real estate. She has an extensive background in local government reporting and hopes to use her experience writing about both urban and rural redevelopment to better inform readers. Cara lives in Waukesha with her husband, a teenager, a toddler, a dog named Neutron, a bird named Potter, and a lizard named Peyoye. She loves music, food, and comedy, but not necessarily in that order.

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