Two five-story apartment buildings proposed for Maple Avenue
Would target ‘high income renters,’ Carroll employees, young professionals

By Matt Masterson - Freeman Staff

Oct. 1, 2014

A new five-story apartment building may be rising from this property on Maple Avenue.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - A pair of five-story apartments buildings proposed to Waukesha’s Redevelopment Authority in September will come before the board again after undergoing a handful of design tweaks.

Middleton-based T. Wall Enterprises, LLC brought the project for the new mixed-use building at 211-227 Maple Avenue to the board for review at its Sept. 15 meeting, but some authority members felt the buildings’ height and proximity to nearby railroad tracks could present an issue.

“The staff was concerned about the height, not so much towards the back of the property, but the height right up on Maple Avenue,” said Waukesha Community Development Specialist Jeff Fortin. “We thought maybe one story shorter would provider a better transition to the neighborhoods on the west.”

The project was put on hold by the Redevelopment Authority and will likely be discussed again during its Oct. 20 meeting.

One of the buildings that could be demolished to make way for the apartments is the former Fox Head Brewery.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Fortin said some staff members were also concerned about the amount of reverberation which could be created by passing trains between one of the buildings and the nearby Carroll University dorms. To remedy this, Fortin believes the developer will move some indoor parking places out between the building and the railroad tracks and use the additional indoor space as a public gathering area.

According to the plan submitted to the city by T. Wall, the buildings will feature 264 units with 106 studio apartments, 104 one-bedroom and 60 two-bedroom apartments. The targeted market for the rooms includes “high income renters” as well as Carroll employees and young professionals looking for space downtown.

The plan estimates that the project would bring the city $30 to $40 million in tax increment.

In a summary written to the Redevelopment Authority, T. Wall President Terrence Wall said the project will play a role in “revitalizing a neighborhood and bringing more people to downtown,” satisfying what he calls a huge need, while also fulfilling the city’s desire to boost downtown density.

A rendering of the apartment buildings proposed for Maple Avenue. 
Submitted art

Forin said the authority is behind the project, but added it is in a tough location and may require some “environmental remediations” and the tearing down of some buildings on the property, including a vacant building which used to house the Fox Head Brewery.

“We think this is a nice complementary project that is going to continue the redevelopment of that area into something more of a mixed-use development,” he said. “We think too it is going to help downtown businesses. When you get young professionals with disposable income and they are within a walking distance of downtown, our hope is that they are going to spend those dollars downtown.”

Once approved by the Redevelopment Authority, Fortin said the project will likely be on the Plan Commission’s agenda before the end of the year.