Jeffers celebrates opening of Journal Commons apartment building

Former Milwaukee Journal building has been transformed into a luxury apartment building

Historical touches of the new Journal Commons apartment building include a fourth lounge that once served as editors offices. (Photos by Cara Spoto/BizTimes)

Last updated on November 18th, 2022 at 02:02 pm

The breaking news Tuesday at the corner North Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and West State Street in downtown Milwaukee, didn’t come in the form of a newspaper headline but in a quiet ribbon cutting ceremony in the lobby of the historic building that for the better part of a century was the hub of the city’s news business.

Josh Jeffers, founder and CEO of Milwaukee-based real estate development firm J. Jeffers & Co., joined with Mayor Cavalier Johnson, and others to mark the official opening of the Journal Commons luxury apartment building, marking the end of a year-long, $35 million rehabilitation of the former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel building at 333 W. State St.

“It’s an exciting day to officially debut the Journal Commons property to the community,” Jeffers said. “This building and its rich history are part of the fabric of Milwaukee. We worked hard to preserve that history and are so proud to be part of its next chapter.”

Addressing those gathered, Johnson noted how the development is yet another example of Westown and the Deer District’s growth.

“Milwaukee is constantly reinventing itself, and Journal Commons is a great example of that
reinvention,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “In the Deer District, in other parts of
downtown and in neighborhoods all across Milwaukee, we continue to see significant
development. I applaud all involved in bringing Journal Commons to this final stage.”

The project broke ground in August 2021. J. Jeffers & Co. utilized historic tax credits through a partnership with the City of Milwaukee for the development. Financing for the project was provided by Busey Bank, Midland States Bank, U.S. Bank Community Investment Corp. and Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), with support from the City of Milwaukee. Project partners included Heritage Consulting Group, CG Schmidt, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Quorum Architects, Inc., Brothers Interiors, Three Sixty Design, and Founders 3 Property Management.

So far about 18 of the building’s 141 studio and one-bedroom apartments have been leased, Jeffers said.

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Cara covers commercial and residential real estate. She has an extensive background in local government reporting and hopes to use her experience writing about both urban and rural redevelopment to better inform readers. Cara lives in Waukesha with her husband, a teenager, a toddler, a dog named Neutron, a bird named Potter, and a lizard named Peyoye. She loves music, food, and comedy, but not necessarily in that order.

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