U.S. Bank investing $7.2 million in future Freshwater Plaza development

Groundbreaking for the Freshwater Plaza will take place Oct. 22.
Groundbreaking for the Freshwater Plaza will take place Oct. 22.
Groundbreaking for the Freshwater Plaza will take place Oct. 22.

U.S. Bank is investing $7.2 million in New Market Tax Credits to build the future Freshwater Plaza multi-use development in Walker’s Point.

The 110,000-square-foot development will feature retail, apartments and an office development on eight acres at the corner of South First Street and East Greenfield Avenue. The construction cost of initial phase is $28.8 million.

Developer Wangard Partners Inc. will break ground on the project Oct. 22.

The site will be the future of home of a Cermak Fresh Market– the neighborhood’s first grocery store – and 76 apartments, including 20 percent to be set aside for lower-income tenants. Wangard will also develop two retail buildings.

“Between the housing, fresh food store and retailers, the development will provide jobs and tax revenue in an area that has seen little investment activity,” Steve Kramer, senior vice president of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, said in a statement.

Freshwater Plaza is expected to produce 320 construction jobs and 180 permanent jobs.

John Stibal, president of First Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise Inc., which contributed the New Markets Tax Credits to the project along with the Greater Wisconsin Opportunities Fund, said he expects Freshwater Plaza will spur even more area improvements and attract more workers.

The city of Milwaukee is providing tax-increment financing and the state of Wisconsin provided a Brownfield Redevelopment Program grant.

All renovations are expected to be complete by the end of 2016.

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