Wangard to begin construction for Park East corridor apartments

Wauwatosa-based real estate firm Wangard will begin construction by the end of this week or early next week for a 104-unit, 4-story apartment building at the southwest corner of North Jefferson Street and East Lyon Street in the Park East corridor in downtown Milwaukee.

In addition to the apartments, the building will also have underground parking and 7,000 square feet of retail space. The project is the first of a three-phase development planned by Wangard on the block.

The project will be one of the first developments built on land formerly owned by Milwaukee County in the Park East corridor. The county has struggled for years to attract development projects to its land in the corridor.

The county initially sold this Park East corridor block to Oak Park, Ill.-based RSC & Associates. But RSC struggled for years to get a mixed-use development started on the site and never could obtain financing to break ground. Last week RSC sold the 1.25-acre block to Wangard for $1.5 million. RSC will remain involved in the project in a consulting role, Wangard executives said.

Originally called Park East Square, the project has been re-named Avenir, French for “future,” by Wangard.

The apartments will vary in size from studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, and rents will range from $1,200 to $2,000 a month. All of the apartments will be leased at market rates. The apartments will be targeted to young professionals, Wangard executives said.

The building is expected to be complete in September of 2014. After the building is leased up Wangard plans to begin work on the second phase of the project, a 100-unit apartment building on the west side of the block. Plans for the third phase of the development have not been finalized, executives said.

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