City balks at Goll Mansion site tower proposal

Rendering of the proposed 27-story apartment tower.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm

City officials are balking at the density of the proposal brought forward by a Madison-based apartment operator who wants to build a 26-story, 202-unit apartment tower on the site of the historic Goll Mansion on Milwaukee’s East Side.

View from the lakefront.
City officials have concerns about the density of the apartment tower proposed for the Goll Mansion site on Milwaukee’s East Side.

Last week, the city’s Department of City Development met with Palisade Properties Management LLC and told them they would not support the proposal that was submitted in February.

Under the plan, the 9,000-square-foot, 118-year-old Goll Mansion, at 1550 N. Prospect Ave., would be moved forward on the site so the tower could be built. The $55 million proposal includes up to 2,000 square feet of commercial space, seven stories of parking, a commons area and pool on the fifth floor, according to plans submitted to the city. Milwaukee-based Kahler Slater is the architect.

“The file has not been withdrawn and we will continue to have discussions about the project, but as of right now, we have an issue with the density,” said Jeff Fleming, DCD spokesman.

Fleming would not comment whether “density” referred to the height of the proposed tower, its number of apartment units or both.

The project was scheduled to be on the April 4 city Plan Commission agenda – one day before the spring Election Day.

Fleming said the project could conceivably be reviewed at the May Plan Commission meeting.

Chris Houden with Palisade Property, said he has been having “great” discussions with the city and is in the process of incorporating suggestions to bring back a modified design in coming weeks.

Rendering of the proposed 26-story apartment tower.
Rendering of the proposed 26-story apartment tower.

“We believe this is going to be a tremendous addition to the East Side, ensuring the future of the Goll mansion, adding a beautiful new building to the neighborhood, and creating significant new tax base for the City,” Houden said.

If the project moves forward, it could face substantial opposition from residents living next to the mansion at 1522 On the Lake, and others.

In August, when BizTimes first reported plans were being considered for the site, Alderman Robert Bauman, whose district includes the Goll Mansion site at 1550 N. Prospect Ave., said he was expecting a fight from neighbors.

At that time, developers were talking about construction a 17-story apartment building.

Bauman, who is seeking reelection, declined to return a call seeking comment.

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