RACM approves bonds for RSC’s Park East project, spring groundbreaking planned

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee (RACM) approved about $25 million in revenue bonds for Oak Park, Ill.-based RSC & Associates’ Park East corridor apartment building development, called Park East Square.
RSC plans to build a 120-unit apartment building on the downtown Milwaukee block bounded by North Jefferson Street, East Lyon Street, North Milwaukee Street and East Ogden Avenue. The building will have about 4,000 square feet of retail space.
RSC plans to break ground on the project in late spring, but still needs to obtain financing. The tax-exempt bond approval will assist that process, said RSC chief executive officer Rich Curto.
“We’re in discussion with several banks,” he said. “In this market, it takes time to do that.”
It will take about 14 months to build the building.
The tax-exempt bonds are issued through the Midwest disaster area program. They are made available through the city, but are not financed or guaranteed by the city. The developer must come up with its own financing for the bonds.
The apartment building will be an L-shaped structure built along Jefferson and Lyon streets. A 200-space parking structure will be built in the middle of the block.
Part of the block, along Milwaukee Street and Ogden Avenue, will remain vacant until RSC can obtain financing to develop that portion. RSC plans to build a Hyatt Place hotel and Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotel on that part of the block. The firm hopes to get financing to begin construction of the hotels late this year or early in 2011, Curto said.
RSC had financing arranged in 2008 to build the hotels, but after the financing industry crisis hit the bank walked away, Curto said. Then the company shifted its focus to the apartment segment of the project.
“The financial market for rental apartments is relatively healthy,” Curto said.
Twenty percent of the apartments in Park East Square will be set aside to rent to people making 60 percent or less of the area’s income.

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