J. Jeffers & Co. announced it has secured the needed financing for the next phase of its Journal Square project, which will create 141 market-rate apartments slated for fall 2022 completion.
Milwaukee-based Jeffers is redeveloping the former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel office complex in downtown Milwaukee into primarily housing. A local charter school system is also opening a high school branch there.
According to a news release, Jeffers has closed on financing totaling $35.6 million for conversion of the 1924 building of the complex, located southeast of State Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue, into apartments.
Financing is being provided by Champaign, Illinois-based Busey Bank as construction lender, Effingham, Illinois-based Midland States Bank for bridge lending and Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank as an equity investor.
Apartment amenities will include underground heated parking, a co-working lounge and a rooftop clubroom and deck.
“We are excited to instill new life and restored beauty into this iconic, historic building in the very heart of downtown and leading into the city’s thriving sports and entertainment district,” Josh Jeffers, founder and chief executive of Jeffers & Co., said in a statement. “This western portion of the block will evolve into a beautiful, historic residential property with modern amenities, and we are thrilled to have construction underway.”
Milwaukee-based CG Schmidt is managing construction. Madison-based Consulting Group is a historical consultant on the project.
Environmental cleanup of the building has been completed, including the portion of the building where the newspaper's printing presses were located.
Jeffers & Co. is calling this second project phase the Verdigris, after the bluish-green color taken on by the building's copper accents over its nearly 100 years.
Work is already underway to convert the 1962 building of the complex, to the east of the Verdigris building, into 195 beds of affordable housing primarily for Milwaukee Area Technical College students. Jeffers & Co. is calling that phase Westown Green.
Those units will be available this fall. Rents are set at 60% of the area median income.
Jeffers & Co. also sold a portion of the complex, at 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., to Milwaukee charter school system Seeds of Health Inc., which plans to open a new high school in the building.