West Allis advances $69.3 million apartment project, with developer already eyeing second phase

A project with 246 apartments in West Allis gained a first city endorsement Wednesday, with developer Land by Label leaving open the possibility of a second phase with more housing.

The first building would cover 3.75 acres southeast of 70th and Washington streets in the broader Allis Yards project. That site had previously been considered for an office building as part of the broader Allis Yards development by Cobalt Partners. Given the current slowdown in office leasing activity, Milwaukee-based Cobalt instead plans to sell the property to Franklin developer Land by Label for the new apartments.

Emily Cialdini, Land by Label vice president of development, said the $69.3 million apartment development responds to demand that is spurred only in part by people being priced out of buying homes.

“There are also national demographic changes happening that are driving demand for apartments,” Cialdini said. “One being millennials with student debt delaying household formation, baby boomers wanting to downsize from their larger homes into maintenance-free living, even Gen Z who are just starting up their life outside of college and outside of the home at a time when inflation is unprecedented.”

Cialdini said the site at Allis Yards is close to employment centers such as Summit Place, and to Interstate 94.

The 246 apartments are planned for a two-winged building standing four and five stories tall in different areas. Plans include a central courtyard with a pool, and a rooftop deck. An underground parking structure will connect the two building wings.

The apartments would include studio to three-bedroom units, with rents ranging from about $1,250 to $2,500 a month. The project has 383 total parking stalls, mostly in the building’s underground structure and ground floor.

That underground parking is among the ways Land By Label designed its first building to leave space for a possible second one. That underground parking provided enough spaces for Land by Label to put a fifth story on the buildings, making the project workable while taking up less land with a smaller footprint and taller height, said Land by Label managing principal Ian Martin.

That second phase would be built immediately east, and could also cover some of the surface parking lot at Summit Place. The second phase could bring another 130 apartments, Cialdini said.

Martin said the surface parking lot at the possible phase two site is leased to Summit Place, so a second building would only move forward “if and when Summit Place no longer wants the parking.”

The West Allis Plan Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved the 246-unit building. The full Common Council is to review the project and hold a public hearing on Oct. 3.

Pending final city approvals, the project could break ground as early as summer 2024, for completion about two years later.

Nearly 500 future apartments are percolating in West Allis between two pending projects. Beyond Land by Label’s building at Allis Yards, Milwaukee-based Three Leaf Partners has gained city approvals for 247 market-rate apartments at National Avenue and 84th Street.


Related Articles