Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:01 pm
Milwaukee-based Vetter Denk is planning a $6.6 million mixed-use development in downtown South Milwaukee that will include a microbrewery, 24 apartments and 5,000-square-feet of commercial space.
The plan was announced Thursday morning on South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks’ blog.
“This project would be a game-changer for downtown South Milwaukee,” Brooks said. “It is one of the biggest developments in our city center in decades, and it will serve as a catalyst in our ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts.”
The plans by Vetter Denk include a 5,000-square-foot microbrewery with adjacent beer garden, 24 one, two- and three-bedroom apartments; an 8,000-square-foot green space that will serve as a public square and gathering place for the apartment dwellers, nearby business patrons and community members; and approximately 5,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space.
The South Milwaukee Plan Commission first heard about the project concept on Aug. 22. Vetter Denk plans to return to the Plan Commission’s Sept. 26 meeting, seeking approval on an option to purchase the 0.74-acre, city-owned property at 11th and Madison Avenues.
“It’s especially exciting to have a first-class firm like Vetter Denk behind this,” Brooks said. “From the Beerline riverfront condominiums in Milwaukee to their work in redeveloping Green Bay’s waterfront, Vetter Denk’s track record is second to none. They will raise the bar for development, redevelopment, and design across our city.”
The brewery and retail space users have not yet been finalized, but there has been strong interest in both spaces so far. Work on securing those businesses will pick up as Vetter Denk finalizes its plans, obtains additional city approvals and seeks to begin construction in the spring of 2017, Brooks said.
The proposed development site is a combination of five parcels the city purchased in 2008 and is in one of South Milwaukee’s four tax increment financing (TIF) districts. Vetter Denk is expected to seek city TIF funding for the project, though the amount is still being finalized.
The development is the latest example of South Milwaukee’s downtown rebirth, Brooks said. The city council recently passed its long-range downtown plan and an expanded grant program for new and expanding downtown business.
“This project will be a huge lift for our continued work in our city center,” Brooks said. “It shows that our hard work to redefine what South Milwaukee can be is paying off, and this is just the beginning.”
“We are very excited to lead the way in South Milwaukee with a project that conforms to the unique opportunities of South Milwaukee,” said Vetter Denk co-owner John Vetter. “The recently completed comprehensive plan shows a deep commitment by the city administration and residents to rethink the city for a new age – and this project will serve as a testament to that collective desire.”