Milwaukee’s long-awaited inauguration of Couture draws closer


The long-awaited inauguration of the Couture apartment tower is approaching due to new building permit filings and a real estate sale.

Portions of the streets next to the downtown Milwaukee development site, 909 E. Michigan St., would close on May 3 to allow for construction.

That’s according to building permit applications filed with the city’s neighborhood services department by JH Findorff & Son Inc. of Madison, the general contractor for Couture.

Plans call for temporarily closing one lane on each of Michigan Street, Clybourn Street, and Lincoln Memorial Drive adjacent to the 2.2-acre site.

Meanwhile, part of the site was sold by The Couture LLC to a pair of subsidiaries, Couture Parking LLC and Transit Hub Mke LLC, for $ 1.65 million, according to a new deed filed Friday.

“In anticipation of the financing closing, the developer creates a condominium on the property and transfers ownership of each condo unit to the three development entities,” said Mary Schanning, the Real Estate Compliance Liaison for the Department of city ​​development.

In addition to the condo units for the parking garage and transit hall, there will be a third unit for the 44-story, 322-unit tower, Schanning said Monday. The division reflects separate funding for each part of the project, she said.

A spokesperson for sewing developer Barrett Lo Visionary Development LLC could not be reached immediately on Monday for more information on the start of construction.

The act and the permit applications were unanimously filed after the Common Council of March 19 approved a revised development agreement with Barrett Lo.

This vote resolved an issue raised by city attorney Tearman Spencer regarding the contract requirement that Barrett Lo provide $ 100,000 to the MKE United Anti-Displacement Fund. The private fund helps low-income homeowners who face significant property tax increases.

After the vote, Barrett Lo co-owner Richard Barrett said his business “would be in a position to move towards (financial) close and start of construction in early April.”

The development agreement stipulates that construction must begin before July 1, and be completed no later than 42 months after the start of work. It would be December 2024.

Barrett Lo plans to start opening some apartments around May 2023 and complete the entire project by August 2023.

The contract requires the completion of the transport hall at rue de Couture so that the Hop tram lakefront loop can operate by June 30, 2022.

The transit concourse is required to connect the parallel lakeside loop lanes on Michigan and Clybourn streets.

Funding for the $ 188 million project includes a $ 103.5 million loan from JLL Real Estate Capital guaranteed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; investor money and $ 19.5 million in municipal funds, generated from Couture property taxes, to pay for the transit hall and other public improvements.

Tom Daykin can be emailed to [email protected] and followed Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


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