Downtown Waukesha luxury apartment project could get $4.75 million from city

Development facing significant site preparation costs, city staff says

A Poole & Poole rendering of The Reserve at Waukesha, seen from the corner of St. Paul Ave and Brehm Street.

Last updated on June 27th, 2019 at 02:50 pm

The developer of a proposed mixed-use development that includes 186 luxury apartments along the Fox River in downtown Waukesha is seeking $4.75 million from the city in order to make the project’s finances work.

Atlanta-based Campbell Capital Group LLC recently filed plans with the city to develop The Reserve at Waukesha between East St. Paul Avenue and the river near the corner of Brehm and Bank streets. In addition to the apartment units, plans also call for 2,100 square feet of commercial space.

City officials are now set to consider whether to provide $4.75 million in tax incremental financing for the project. According to a staff report from Jennifer Andrews, Waukesha community development director, the financial assistance is needed to make the project financially feasible. The report notes that city staff, along with a consultant, have verified there is a financial gap in the project.

“The developer has extraordinary costs related to site preparation including but not limited to environmental remediation, poor soils, and floodplain mitigation,” Andrews writes in the report.

The proposed city financing includes a $1.5 million grant to be given at the time construction commences and a $3.25 million grant payment as tax increment is generated from the project between the year the tax increment district is created and 2033, the year it would close.

If the developer is paid the $3.25 million earlier than 2033, the city could close the TID at that point, according to a draft term sheet.

The term sheet also states the developer would be required to commence construction by the first quarter of 2020 and finish the work by the beginning of 2021. The term sheet states the development is expected to have a completed value of greater than $30.5 million.

Waukesha’s Finance Committee will consider the term sheet on Tuesday, according to the city’s legislative website.

Campbell is proposing to build a four/five-story building wrapping a seven-level parking deck. The development will also have a two-story clubhouse and leasing center, resort style pool, state-of-the-art fitness room and a private courtyard.

The plans also leave room for others to develop a restaurant or brewery at the corner of Bank and Barstow streets.

“This development will attract an upscale resident who is looking for a luxury housing in a safe walkable downtown area,” documents submitted to the city say. “The mix of residents attracted to this development will include young affluent professionals, single adults, empty nesters and active seniors.”

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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