Evergreen Real Estate Group and Legacy Midwest Renewal Corp. recently joined public-private partners to celebrate the grand-opening of Legacy Lofts, a 64-unit mixed-income rental community in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood.
Located at 1500 W. North Ave., the community is partially housed in the former Blommer Ice Cream Factory, a three-story concrete and terra cotta structure that was built in 1928 and sat vacant for nearly two decades prior to its redevelopment.
The original building was preserved in accordance with National Park Service guidelines and converted into 38 apartments with one to four bedrooms and ranging in size from about 500 to 1,600 square feet. A three-story addition to the factory houses another 26 apartments with one- to three-bedroom plans, including seven townhome units with private entrances along 16th Street, that range from approximately 1,200 to 1,400 square feet. Fifty-four of the 64 units are affordable to households earning less than 60% of the area median income, while the remainder are market-rate units.
The restored historic factory building includes high ceilings – more than 17 feet in some first-floor units – polished cement floors, large and historically appropriate windows, and a former loading dock that has been converted into an outdoor patio. All units feature Energy Star appliances and a contemporary design that includes exposed ductwork for heating and air-conditioning systems.
The $13.9 million project was made possible by the partnership and collaboration of Evergreen, LMRC (the real estate investment affiliate of Legacy Redevelopment Corp.), Continuum Architects + Planners, Greenfire Management Services LLC, MacRostie Historic Advisors, HN Development, Walnut Way Development Corp., Haywood Group, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Alderman Russell W. Stamper II, the city of Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. U.S. Bank, Associated Bank, the city of Milwaukee, WHEDA and IFF provided additional financial support.
In addition to the residences, the project included 1,565 square feet of street-level commercial space that houses the new offices of LMRC.
Evergreen and LMRC partnered to secure the complex financing for the project, utilizing a combination of federal low-income housing tax credits, state and federal historic tax credits, tax-increment financing, HOME Fund financing and private mortgage debt.
Greenfire Management Services LLC ensured minority contractor hiring programs were in place to create opportunities for Milwaukee firms. By working closely with neighborhood partners, the project team exceeded program targets for local hiring and contracting with Emerging Business Enterprises.