New Land tweaks Farwell Avenue project with more apartments, less parking

Responding to a downtown market where smaller apartments are renting faster, New Land Enterprises tweaked the design of its next high-rise apartment building to shrink some of the larger two-bedroom units.

That change means there will be more apartments in the building – 346 instead of the original plan’s 314. The 24-story building itself will become a little smaller, said Jason Korb, of Korb + Associates Architects in Milwaukee. New Land is reducing the height of the building by one floor by cutting a level of interior parking, Korb said.

“The building looks largely the same,” Korb said. “The podium is a little less bulky, and the building is 8 feet, 8 inches shorter than it was.”

Those are changes to the original 25-story plan Milwaukee officials approved in May for the surface lots at North Farwell Avenue and East Curtis Place. Milwaukee’s Plan Commission on Monday endorsed the new design.

Korb said that Milwaukee-based project developer New Land is having less success renting apartments of more than 1,200 square feet, compared with smaller units. That led to a design change that resulted in the two-bedroom apartments in planned building getting smaller, he said.

“In order to make the project viable, they had us redesign it for more, smaller units,” Korb said. “It’s the market telling our client what it wants.”

New Land has built more than 1,500 apartments, and has a continual read on the rental market through its several properties located in the downtown Milwaukee area. Its next building, the 251-unit Nova apartments on North Van Buren Street, opens this fall.

New Land Enterprises already owns the Farwell Avenue property and the neighboring Renaissance Place event hall building. The Renaissance Place building will remain, although a plan for its reuse has not been finalized.

The elimination of one floor of parking structure in the new high-rise reduces the number of spaces from almost 500 to 411, Korb said. There is still one parking space per apartment, plus stalls reserved for the neighboring Mexican Consulate and Renaissance Place building.

“Everyone in the industry is building less parking than they used to,” Korb said. “That is just the trend.”


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