First look: Trio, Walker’s Point’s newest apartments [Photo Gallery]

Restaurant committed to first floor of 1st Street building

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Intrigued by the design concepts unveiled during the 2012 adAPT NYC competition in New York City, Milwaukee developer Tim Gokhman decided to put his own spin on the idea of creating luxury living in efficient spaces.

The New York competition was for micro-units, apartments smaller than 400 square feet, and while Milwaukee may not be ready for apartment that tiny, Gokhman wanted to create studios that maximize living spaces and natural light.

He worked his father, Boris, and Third Ward architectural firm Kindness Architecture on a few ideas. The result is Trio MKE, a three-building, 120-unit apartment complex between 1st and 2nd streets in Walkers Point. The first building, along 2nd Street, opened last week. The second is expected to open in 30 days and the third by mid-October.

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So far leasing is going well, Gokhman said, with the first building  50 percent leased with half of those people already moved in.

While only 32 of the units are studio apartments – starting at $1,175 a month – the 540 square feet apartments are where Gokhman can show off his designs.

“Most studios are built in the awkward, left over space with very little windows, these studios are built by design,” Gokhman said. “We didn’t need to squeeze anything down. This is all truly livable space.”

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The building has heated wood floors throughout, which means no furnace, no water heater and no duct work. Gokhman has also taken a new approach to the traditional community room, instead modeling the room after the Iron Horse hotel lobby.

“We want a place where people can come in, hang out and feel comfortable,” he said. “We’ll have coffee every morning so people can come in, grab a granola bar and start the day right.”

Building one, along 2nd Street includes 1,200 square feet of ground floor retail, which is not yet occupied.

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By tweaking the community room, it opened up an additional 600 square feet of retail in building three, which is on 1st St. Gokhman said a restaurant tenant has committed to that space, although he would not say who, but promised it would be great.

“It will be as amazing as this building,” he said.

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