Milwaukee-based Mandel Group Inc. is nearing the completion of its latest apartment project, the Crescent Apartments in Wauwatosa.
The developer says it has begun leasing the 102-unit complex at 10430 Innovation Drive. It is looking to recruit as tenants professionals working in the Milwaukee County Research Park and the nearby Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.
Units are becoming available one floor at a time, starting with its top two floors. Tenants began moving in this month, starting with the first 10 move-ins on May 1. All units will be available by mid-June.
Crescent Apartments is a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. It also has a level of underground parking, with a green roof on top of the parking deck that will provide outdoor amenities including a dog run.
Bob Monnat, senior partner at Mandel, said the units are equipped with higher end finishes and features than at some of its other properties. This is to try and lure in the prospective tenants Mandel is seeking.
"On these two-bedroom units in particular, we decided to create what we call a 'platinum level' finish, because we felt we were going to attract business and medical professionals that were in and around the area," he said.
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Such features include wood shelving in walk-in closets "at huge expense" over the more standard wire shelving or wooden poles. The two-bedroom units also have extra large bathrooms with double vanities and extra electrical outlets. Each floor also has a small lobby at the elevators, which will be equipped with seating, a video screen and a board where residents can write messages.
The goal was to give the complex a hotel-like feel, Monnat said.
"On this project, we said, 'Everything is going to be top drawer,'" he said.
He said that, for instance, medical researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin will take one- or two-year contracts at the campus. They may not want to own a home if they're only going to be in the area briefly. But they want the feeling of being at home, he said.
"We don't want them to feel like they're coming to an apartment building, we want them to feel like they're coming to their home," he said. "We think that the two-bedroom market here is a very high-end market for people that are working in the immediate vicinity."
Elise Albers, lease-up manager with Mandel, said the studios are all rented. The next most popular units are the single bedrooms, but Mandel leased a couple of the two-bedroom units last week.
"Crescent is being very well received by the community," she said.
Mandel has gotten inquiries from people working at MRMC, but also from some who work in places like downtown Milwaukee or in Waukesha. The interest is driven from easy freeway access, she said.
The apartments are one component of a $36 million mixed-use project southeast of Innovation Drive and Watertown Plank Road. It also includes the redevelopment of the historic "M-10" power house for commercial uses and a new 119-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel.