Goll Mansion developer submits updated plans for residential tower

Project incorporates green components

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The Madison-based developer that wants to build at apartment tower at Goll Mansion site in Milwaukee has resubmitted plans to stabilize the 118-year-old mansion on the city’s East Side and construct a 27-story, 192-unit apartment tower adjacent to the building.

Developer and property owner Chris Houden has made slight design changes to the project and added several aesthetic changes since the project failed to gain approval from the Milwaukee Common Council last year.

“We remain interested in investing in the City of Milwaukee and submitted updated plans to the city to continue the conversation. We believe these plans represent a win-win-win for our community – bringing new tax base for the city, creating new jobs for city residents and ensuring the restoration and revitalization of the historic Goll House,” Houden said. “The updated plans include enhanced sustainability features, as well as our voluntary commitments to local and minority contractor hiring and to utilize a union general contractor.”

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The size of the tower has been reduced in the east/west direction by 10 feet and the building footprint is now further from the bluff than a never-built condo tower that the city approved in 2008. The building height is also lower than what was originally approved in 2008, according to plans submitted Monday to the city.

Many sustainability/green components have now been added to the design including solar panels, a car-charging station in the parking area, a car sharing program, LED lighting in the building’s common areas, native Wisconsin plants, green roof areas and bicycle parking.

Windows have been added to the above grade parking levels on the second through fourth floors and public artwork has been added along the bike path elevation of the building.

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Houden has also committed to using a local union general contractor and meeting or exceeding the city’s residence preference program for hiring subcontractors, which he is not obligated to do because he is not paying for the project with any public financing for the $55 million project.

The proposal was unanimously approved at the city’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee and won approval from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission last summer.

More than half of the Common Council voted in favor of the proposal as well, but the plan was defeated because it did not receive a supermajority, which was needed because residents of the 1522 Prospect On the Lake condo building submitted a protest petition.

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The new plans will be reviewed by the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee meeting in September.

“Over the course of the last 18 months there has been significant input from neighbors, staff and elected officials regarding the design of the project,” said Thomas Miller, principal with Kahler Slater architecture in Milwaukee, who has been working with Houden on the project since the beginning. “This input has resulted in positive changes to the project.”

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