Mixed-use development planned for vacant building on MLK Drive

JCP Construction president James Phelps leading project

James Phelps, president of JCP Construction, at a renovation project for Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:56 am

Milwaukee construction executive James Phelps is planning a small mixed-use development across the street from his company’s headquarters on North Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

“I’ve been eying it for a while and I found the owners and asked if I could purchase it,” said Phelps, president of JCP Construction. “I’m hoping to activate the space on a dead block and bring some use back to it.”

MLK 1920 LLC, which includes Phelps and Morgan Shelton, president of TrussPR, have applied for a $325,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. for the $752,000 project located at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.

The two-story building, which is currently used for warehouse space will be converted into first floor retail or office with residential on the second floor.

Phelps said the possibilities include shared office space, professional services or event space.

“We’re hoping to finalize something within the next couple of months,” Phelps said.

The 10,000-square-foot building has sat unoccupied for more than 30 years.

“With the Bucks Arena, successful launch of Pete’s Fruit market and the new Bader Philanthropies headquarters, there’s been a surge of new interest in MLK Drive,” said Deshea Agee, executive director of the Historic King Drive BID. “We’re excited to see the momentum continue with plans local developers have to activate this underutilized building.”

Galbraith Carnahan Architects will design the mixed-use development, which is scheduled for completion in November.


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