Developer says apartments at The Moderne are “fully leased”

More than 92 percent of the apartments at The Moderne, a 30-story residential high rise completed in 2012 in downtown Milwaukee, have been leased, according to developer Rick Barrett, the owner of Barrett Visionary Development.

Currently, leases have been signed for 187 of the 203 apartment units in the building, “exceeding the 92 percent occupancy level considered full capacity as defined by financial underwriting,” according to a Barrett Visionary Development press release. “There are only a handful of apartments remaining available, which are anticipated to be rented by June,” the release states.

“We’re fully leased,” Barrett said. “We’re actually establishing a waiting list.”

Leasing activity at The Moderne, located at 1141 N. Old World Third St., was slow during the brutally cold winter, but picked up dramatically once the weather warmed up, Barrett said.

“We’ve had a phenomenal spring,” he said.

Rents for the apartments at The Moderne range from $1,250 to $5,500 a month, Barrett said. The people on the waiting list are seeking the higher-priced units, which are larger and have better views, he said.

Barrett estimates that about 100 people will move into about 60 units in the building during May and June.

The building also has 14 condominiums on the top floors. So far eight of the condos have been sold, Barrett said.

“We have two more (condo sales) that are in writing but not agreed upon (yet),” he said. “We’re moving along pretty good on those.”

The building also has the Carson’s Prime Steaks and Famous BBQ restaurant, which leases the first floor space.

The financing for The Moderne, a $55 million development, included a $42 million loan from the AFL-CIO Investment Trust, which was backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 221(d)4 loan guarantee program.

“We’re pleased that The Moderne project in Milwaukee has proven to be such an enormous success,” said Antonio Riley, Region V Administrator for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. “This building undoubtedly adds to Milwaukee’s skyline and also provides significant value to individuals looking for an exciting and contemporary place to live, work and play.”

The city of Milwaukee also provided about $9.3 million in loans for the project. The city provided two loans: a $2.8 million mezzanine loan with an interest rate of about 16 percent and a $6.5 million loan with an interest rate of about 5 percent.

Barrett said he is close to paying off the higher interest mezzanine loan with the city. He has a condo sale pending for a $900,000 unit at The Moderne. Once that sale is complete, Barrett said he will be able to fully pay off the mezzanine loan. The lower interest loan from the city is much easier to manage, he said.

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