WHEDA moving Milwaukee office to Mercantile Lofts building

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The Milwaukee office of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is moving from its current location at 140 S. 1st Street in Walker’s Point to the Mercantile Lofts building at 611 W. National Ave.

Mercantile Lofts, 611 W. National Ave.
Mercantile Lofts, 611 W. National Ave., during the redevelopment project this summer.

“WHEDA has always maintained a strong commitment to the city of Milwaukee and has had an office located in the city since 1990,” said WHEDA executive director, Wyman Winston.  “We believe the presence of WHEDA in the near south side neighborhood is expected to have a significant affordable housing impact in one of Milwaukee’s fastest growing areas.”

In July, the redevelopment of the four-story Mercantile Lofts building at the southwest corner of South 6th Street and West National Avenue in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood was completed.

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The project by Northpointe Development Inc. created 36 apartments in the building, including 28 market-rate units, and 8 affordable housing units subsidized by WHEDA, which provided a $6.6 million construction loan for the project and $5.4 million in permanent financing.

The 76,350-square-foot, 116-year-old building was formerly known as the International Building. It is known locally for its “Mural of Peace” that can be seen by northbound motorists on I-43.

It was acquired by the city in early 2015 through a property tax foreclosure. It was previously owned by social service agency Esperanza Unida, which had its office space in the building before moving out after it was acquired by the city. The city sold the building to Northpointe, which is managed by Callan Schultz and Andrew Dumke and affiliated with Keystone Development.

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WHEDA will lease 3,479 square feet in the building beginning in January.

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