Construction begins for Third Ward apartment development

Construction began recently for Jackson Square. The project, which is being developed by Robert Joseph, is an 81-unit apartment building with 9,000 square feet of retail space, which is being built at the northwest corner of East Menomonee and North Jackson streets. The five-story building is expected to be completed in about one year, Joseph said.

Some site work for the project began in September, but shortly after that work was halted because of an engineering problem that needed to be worked out. Joseph described it as a "technical snafu" and a "structural foundation issue." Once the problem was solved by a redesign, Joseph decided to delay the project to avoid having the early stages of the project during the winter, which adds significant costs.

The timing is right to begin a new apartment development in the Third Ward, Joseph said.

"It’s a terrific time," he said. "The market for apartments is very strong and construction costs are reasonable. The Third Ward is as desirable as it has ever been."

Apartments are particularly attractive because the real estate and financial industry problems have resulted in more demand for rental units, while the downtown condominium market has dried up.

"It will be the right product for this time," Joseph said.

Jackson Square is the second Third Ward apartment building development that is under construction.

Milwaukee-based Mandel Group Inc. began construction in March for its Corcoran Lofts apartment development. The building will be located on the north side of East Corcoran Avenue and adjacent to Mandel’s Gaslight Lofts development. The six-story Corcoran Lofts building will have 76 apartments and 3,400 square feet of retail space. The retail space will be located at the corners of East Corcoran Avenue and Jefferson and Milwaukee streets. The building will have parking on the first two floors and apartments on the upper four floors. It will be connected to Gaslight Lofts so Mandel will be able to use Gaslight’s operating staff to serve the building and Corcoran Lofts residents will be able to use amenities in Gaslight, such as the fitness center.

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