Developer revises largest full block project on East Washington Avenue | local government
Due to market changes driven by COVID-19, a developer is drastically overhauling the look and use of most of a multi-phase project on the 900 block of East Washington Avenue across from Breese Stevens Field on the Near East Side.
Curt Brink, who secured city approvals for a glassy, 11-story, 230,000-square-foot mixed-use tower with commercial space on the first floor and offices above at 929 E. Washington Ave. in May 2019, abandons this plan in favor of a 14-story tower with commercial space on the first floor, fewer offices and housing.
“It would have been difficult to start the (original) building,” Brink said. The pandemic “has really changed the office market”.
The new proposal, which would offer 95,797 square feet of retail and office space and 105 apartments, would abandon the glazed exterior for a design influenced by the historic Kleuter brick building, now Hotel Indigo, 901 E. Washington Ave., as well than the historic industrial nature of the Eastern Rail Corridor.
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Brink said he was looking to adapt the glass design to the new use, but did not want to offer accommodations without a balcony. The location, near Breese Stevens Field, a grocery store, the next bus rapid transit line, bike paths, and cultural and dining offerings, is attractive for residential and commercial use, a- he declared.
“You’re right in the middle of everything,” he says.
The revised proposal for the vacant 1.1-acre site would become the final piece of the ambitious Archipelago Village project rising in the 900 block of the booming East Washington Avenue corridor. Brink credited the city with initiating a planning process for the corridor in the mid-2000s that engaged property owners, neighborhoods, elected officials and others and produced conditions and a vision for growth.
“The city got it right,” he said. “It really is a vibrant street that has grown organically.”
Already, Brink and leading investors Jim and Marlene Korb have renovated the five-story brick-fronted Kleuter building and built a five-story contemporary structure next door to create the 144-room Hotel Indigo at the corner of East Washington and Paterson Street. South.
Brink recently completed a five-story, 92,000-square-foot office building to house the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority at 902-908 E. Main St., and a 390-space parking lot in the middle of the block to service various elements of the overall development.
The city is currently reviewing Brink’s proposal for an 11-story building with 37 condominiums and 5,800 square feet of first-floor retail space on an empty lot at 920 E. Main St. Brink is considering future reuse of the Telephone Co building. , 946 E. Main St., likely for more retail space.
The new proposal for 929 E. Washington Ave. still has a substantial amount of job space with other job uses on the block. The zoning, which once provided for employment uses on this side of the thoroughfare, was changed in 2020 to allow a mix of uses on the block.
“I didn’t want to be all residential,” Brink said, adding that he was very interested in office tenants for the 95,000 square feet of space that can be designed to suit a post-workforce. pandemic with modern heating and cooling features.
Instead of glass, the building’s main materials will be red-brown brick with black metal accents. The setback and setback requirements create a building with a sixth-floor patio overlooking the street and Breese Stevens Field. The first floor of the building along East Washington Avenue is designed to allow retail, commercial or restaurant space that will activate the street front. A slightly raised outdoor terrace is provided for outdoor seating, bicycle parking and planting.
A large green/purple roof on the 6th floor above the parking structure, approved as part of the 920 E. Main St. building, as well as a second green/purple roof on the ninth floor at 929 E. Washington Ave. recreation and green space for tenants as well as stormwater retention and management.
The new proposal will add to the existing Phase One parking structure that is shared with the other buildings on the block, including future condominiums at 920 E. Main St., offices at 908 E. Main St. and the Indigo Hotel. The completed parking structure will have approximately 747 vehicle spaces, including approximately 360 spaces to be allocated to the building at 929 E. Washington Ave.
“Much to Love”
Aldus. 6th District Brian Benford, who represents the site, said there was a lot to like about the revised proposal. He said Brink has been committed to the Marquette Neighborhood Association and has shown the foresight to add housing to help meet demands amid uncertainties in the COVID-19 economy.
“The Brinks have constructed beautiful buildings that maintain the historic integrity of the neighborhood and this project will add to that legacy,” Benford said.
The Marquette Neighborhood Association passed a resolution in support of the proposal.
Brink is due to make a briefing proposal to the city’s urban design commission on Feb. 9.
If approvals are obtained, the project is expected to begin construction in the fall of 2022 and be completed and occupied in the spring of 2024.
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