The developers of the Historic Perlick Lofts adaptive reuse project on Milwaukee's northwest side want to create an environment of community gathering and interaction.
Milwaukee-based McClendon Capital Group LLC is working with Chicago-based nonprofit Heartland Housing to turn the former Perlick industrial complex at 3040-3112 W. Meinecke Ave. into 99 units of mostly affordable senior housing, 50 parking stalls, community space and tenant amenities. That's according to the latest project details revealed in city applications records.
Between 80-85% of the units will be affordable, and the rest will be market rate. They will be a mix of 69 one-bedroom units, 16 two-bedroom units and 14 three-bedroom townhouse units.
A small three-story building toward the center of the campus will contain a community room, library and business center, lounge, leasing offices and a package room on its first floor. Its second and third floors will each have a two-bedroom unit and common space and amenities for residents.
Perlick Historic Lofts will be a space for residents to gather and interact with each other. It also aims to create a place that encourages interaction among the surrounding neighborhood.
One way it would achieve that is through making the community space available for other neighborhood groups. It could be used for town hall meetings or even serve as a polling site, according to application documents.
"(T)his project has the capacity to serve the surrounding community," the documents state. "Not only will it bring life to an abandoned building, but there is opportunity for other groups to use the centermost community room spaces."
Perlick Historic Lofts would work well together with Community Within the Corridor, the developers stated. The $66 million redevelopment of a former Briggs & Stratton complex three blocks north of this site is creating affordable housing for adults and families, plus an array of resident and community amenities. Both developments provide affordable housing, but target different residents.
The buildings to the west and north would contain a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. The one-bedroom units range approximately 600-700 square feet. The two-bedroom units range from just under 800 square feet to nearly 950 square feet.
A building to the east as well as a one-story portion of the northern building would contain the three-bedroom units, each of which will have an individual entrance.
They will range in size from approximately 1,100-2,000 square feet. Three of the units will be two stories.
Eighteen of the 50 parking stalls will be indoor, located in the eastern building. The rest will be surface parking at the center of the campus.
Cornelius McClendon of McClendon Capital has looked to redevelop the Perlick site since 2017. His firm revealed its latest proposal for the industrial complex in August, after requesting the city rezone the property. The additional details come from a zoning variance application with the Board of Zoning Appeals.
McClendon Capital specializes in the acquisition and development of multi-family and mixed-use properties. It concentrates on providing affordable housing to prevent displacement of residents from their community.
Heartland Housing is a subsidiary of Heartland Alliance. It has done other housing developments in Milwaukee, such as St. Anthony's Place at 1004 N. 10th St., Maskani Place at 320 E. Center St., Capuchin Apartments at 2502 W. Tamarack St. and Prairie Apartments at 1218 W. Highland Ave.
Heartland Alliance has five entities that work together to provide a continuum or programs that address the root causes of poverty, generate social change and inspire people to live better lives for themselves and their communities.
A zoning variance is needed along with the rezoning because the proposed dwelling units would lie within 150 feet of a parcel zoned for heavy manufacturing uses. The Master Lock Co.'s Milwaukee plant neighbors the Perlick site to the north.
The application argues the variance is appropriate because the site borders a surface parking lot, not the Master Lock facility itself.
McClendon said this summer he's seeking affordable tax credits and historic tax credits to finance the $21.5 million project.
The collection of four buildings range from one to four stories tall. The oldest of them was constructed in 1902. The others were built in 1945, according to city records. They are collectively assessed at $373,100. They once housed Perlick Corp.