River House apartments sold for $58 million

Second big Milwaukee acquisition for Weidner within the last month

River House Apartments in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:48 pm

The River House Apartments just north of downtown Milwaukee were sold for $58 million, according to state records.

Atlanta-based developer Atlantic Realty Partners sold the two buildings with 243 apartments to Kirkland, Wash.-based Weidner Apartment Homes. The buildings, located at 1785 N. Water St., sit on the site of the former Gallun Tannery along the east side of the Milwaukee River, the west side of North Water Street and north of Holton Street.

River House Apartments

The two buildings represent the first phase of the project. The second phase, two more buildings with 200 units, is to be built on the northern end of the parcel. Richard Aaronson, CEO and co-founder of Atlantic Realty, said his company still owns the land for the second phase of the River House development.

In a phone interview with BizTimes, Aaronson said his group was originally looking to recapitalize the project with a new investment partner. That’s when they were approached by Weidner about buying the property outright. “We made the decision to go ahead and do that,” he said.

This is the second major real estate purchase by Weidner in Milwaukee within the last month. The firm recently purchased the Avenir Apartments at 1437 N. Jefferson St. from affiliates of Wangard Partners for $22.3 million. Last year, Weidner bought the Arbor Ridge Apartments, Sunset Ridge Apartments and St. James Place Apartments complexes in Milwaukee.

Besides River House, Atlantic Realty Partners has built several apartment complexes in the Milwaukee area including Brookfield Reserve, The Reserve at Wauwatosa Village and Mayfair Reserve Apartments in Wauwatosa.

Atlantic Realty Partners and Weidner are in discussions about forming a joint venture to develop the remaining two buildings for the River House project, Aaronson said.

“We intend on moving forward with the development of the second phase in mid-2019,” he said.

Before that, they’ll need to finalize the design on the project and negotiate a construction contract. Chicago-based HKM is the architect of record and the Milwaukee office of HGA is the design architect.

The first phase of River House was completed in 2017. The city of Milwaukee currently assesses the property at $39.7 million.

Aaronson was a panelist at the 2015 BizTimes Milwaukee Commercial Real Estate and Development Conference.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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