Evergreen Real Estate Group and Legacy Midwest Renewal Corp. on Nov. 8 celebrated the ground-breaking of The Legacy Lofts at the Blommer Ice Cream Factory, a 64-unit mixed-income rental community located at 1500 W. North Ave. in Milwaukee.
Executives from each firm were joined by Ald. Russell Stamper; Commission Rocky Marcoux; Ald. Milele Coggs; Ald. Nic Kovac; County Supervisors Supreme Moore Omokunde, Jason Haas, Sequanna Taylor and David L. Sartori; and other invited guests at a ceremonial groundbreaking held at the site Wednesday afternoon. Housed in the former Blommer Ice Cream Factory, a three-story structure that was built in 1928 and has been largely vacant for more than 20 years, Legacy Lofts will offer a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments when completed in August 2018.
The $13.9 million project is made possible through the partnership and collaboration of Evergreen, LMRC, Greenfire Management Services LLC, Continuum Architects + Planners, MacRostie Historic Advisors, HN Development, Walnut Way Development Corp., Haywood Group, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), Ald. Stamper, the city of Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Additional financial support was provided by U.S. Bank, Associated Bank, the city of Milwaukee, WHEDA and IFF.
As part of the rehabilitation, the existing Blommer building will be preserved and converted into 38 apartments with one to four bedrooms. All improvements will adhere to National Park Services (NPS) guidelines for the renovation of historic structures. In addition, a three-story building with 26 apartments will be constructed on land immediately west of the former factory. Along with the apartments, which will offer one to three bedrooms, the newly construction building will include 1,565 square feet of street-level commercial space that will serve as the offices of LMRC, a partner of Legacy Redevelopment Corp. Once operational, the property will be professionally managed by Evergreen.
The residences in the newly constructed building include seven three-bedroom townhomes, each with a private entrance on 16th Street. Together with the rehabilitated exterior of the former factory, they will activate the streetscape, contributing to the broader revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood.
Legacy Lofts was financed using a combination of low-income housing tax credits, state and federal historic tax credits, tax-increment financing, HOME Fund financing and private mortgage debt. Evergreen and LMRC worked hand in hand to secure the required financing for the development.
Led by Greenfire Management Services LLC, the construction project will have minority contractor hiring programs intended to create opportunities for Milwaukee firms.