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32-story affordable housing high rise proposed for Milwaukee's downtown

Posted at 9:57 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 23:20:25-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee's skyline is about to change as the housing authority plans a major high rise. A 32-story tower is being built at Milwaukee and Knapp Streets near the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus.

"It's kind of exciting," said Cole Kendziora who lives next to the proposed site.

The Milwaukee Housing Authority wants to build a tower and town houses next to it's other property, Convent Hill, an apartment for seniors. That will stay in it's current spot. This new building would be mixed income.

"It's very difficult to build affordable housing downtown. A lot of folk in the private sector have tried it and cost of land has made it difficult. The rising cost of construction is making that even harder so seeing a building of this scale with mixed income approach to it is really unusual," Sean Ryan of the Milwaukee Business Journal said.

A portion of the building will be for people who qualify for housing assistance, which means people who make under the area's average income. That's around $30,000 a year.

One mixed income building near downtown is the Beerline B Apartments on Commerce and Pleasant Streets, which has had waiting lists in the past to get one of their units.

"It's nice, it's clean and everybody takes care of the building," said Classie Hoskins who lives in the Beerline B Apartments.

Jason Korb, from Korb + Associates for the new downtown tower, said it will hold up to 350 apartments and have high end amenities like a pool, patio and views of lake Michigan. The news already has nearby neighbors thinking about moving in.

"It's a new building, it's a affordable housing. Maybe I will move there instead of the place I'm living now," Kendziora said.

The building will still need Common Council approval before it is built.