Seven-story condo project planned in Walker’s Point

Peter Renner planning development along Milwaukee River

South Water Condominiums

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm

Milwaukee architect and developer Peter Renner is planning to build a seven-story, 72-unit condominium building along the Milwaukee River in the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.

The $50 million project, called South Water Condominiums, at the corner of East Pittsburgh Avenue and South Water Street, will be similar to Renner’s other Third Ward condo development, Harbor Front, said Chris Corley, who specializes in selling luxury condominiums and will be the broker for the property.

South Water Condominiums

Renner, who could not immediately be reached for comment, has the site at 234 S. Water St. under contract and is working with construction firms on bids, Corley said.

An affiliate of VJS Construction, of Pewaukee, owns the 0.72-acre vacant parcel. It is assessed at $1 million.

The South Water Condominiums will include two floors of above-ground parking and five floors of one, two and three-bedroom condos, with the majority of units being two bedrooms ranging in size from 1,800 to 2,200 square feet.

Since the Great Recession, multi-family housing developers in Milwaukee have shifted their focus from condominiums to apartments. This would be the largest condominium development in Milwaukee in a decade.

“People have been screaming at me trying to find (condo) units,” Corley said. “The last couple I sold were gone in less than 12 hours at full price. I think this building will be a hit, especially (near) the Third Ward, right along the river.”

Milwaukee-based developer David Winograd had the land under contract and was planning to build a 12-story, 164-unit apartment tower at the site, but dropped his option to purchase this spring.

Corley said when Winograd scrapped his project, he urged Renner to move forward with a project on the site.

“It already had all of the city approvals and we had both been saying for years this is the perfect site,” Corley said.

The construction timeline is dependent on when Renner receives bids from contractors, Corley said.

Renner has contacted the Department of City Development, but city officials said documents would not be filed until August.

While the Third Ward side of the river has been nearly completely developed over the last two decades, the Walker’s Point side has only attracted a few projects.

The Harbor District, a non nonprofit organization formed last year by the city, has been working to improve the inner harbor, which includes roughly nine miles of waterfront access.

Just south of the site for Renner’s project, Milwaukee developer Mandel Group Inc. is planning a three-building, 275,000-square-foot development along the Milwaukee River that includes a new 100,000-square-foot office building, a seven-story mixed-use building and repurposing a warehouse building, including the former Wisconsin Cold Storage Co. property.

In December, Renner unveiled plans for a 10-unit condominium development on land he owns in the Third Ward. The project included three-story 1,400-square-foot townhouses on a strip of land at 610-628 E. Summerfest Place, near the South Gate to the festival grounds. The project received approval from the Third Ward Architectural Review Board, but will not move forward, Corley said.

“I would say it has a less than 10 percent probability,” Corley said. “We’ve had problems with WE Energies refusing to bury power lines so they would run right through people’s decks. Not much else we can do if you can’t move the power lines.”

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