Conversion of second Horlick building in Racine starting soon

Old headquarters building will be reused as market-rate apartments

Rendering courtesy of J. Jeffers & Co.
Rendering courtesy of J. Jeffers & Co.

Last updated on March 31st, 2021 at 11:12 am

The conversion of a second historic building at the former Horlick Malted Milk Co. complex in Racine into apartments is slated to begin soon.

Milwaukee developer J. Jeffers & Co. is leading the $100 million Horlick District project, located northeast of Albert Street and Northwestern Avenue. Jeffers is turning the historic former industrial complex into housing, commercial, recreational and educational uses. The multi-phase project involves a combination of adaptive reuse and new construction.

The first phase involves the redevelopment of the two largest buildings in the complex into housing. Work is nearly complete on the first building, at 2100 Northwestern Ave., which will offer 60 units of affordable housing.

Work is ramping up on the next building, at 2200 Northwestern Ave., which involves 86 units of market-rate housing.

Josh Jeffers, president and chief executive of Jeffers & Co., said in a recent interview the rehabilitation work was slated to begin in April. An email from Milwaukee-based project contractor CG Schmidt indicates a formal groundbreaking will be held next week.

The second building will be called The Headquarters at Horlick. It was used as the original Horlick headquarters office building and features a large clocktower, Jeffers said.

“It is sort of the iconic building, it anchors the complex,” he said.

More construction is on its way at the Horlick site.

Jeffers said construction should begin this fall on a new building containing up to 172 units. It will be built next door to The Headquarters building.

The conversion of the 2100 building is slated to finish this May, he added.

Later phases of the project will focus on commercial offerings.

Unique Horlick District site elements will be retained and restored. They include the Gothic Revival buildings, expansive open spaces, original tongue and groove wood plank flooring in many buildings, winding brick roadways throughout the complex and the signature clock tower.

The project is relying on multiple sources of financing. Sources include historic tax credits, affordable housing tax credits and New Market tax credits.

Jeffers’ comments were included in a BizTimes Milwaukee retrospective of the transformative adaptive reuse projects in southeastern Wisconsin from recent decades.

It was part of BizTimes’ 25th Anniversary Issue.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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