Luxury apartment building proposed for downtown
Would include 186 units, commercial space near Fox River

By Katherine Michalets

May 15, 2019

 The proposed Reserve at Waukesha is seen from the corner of Brehm Street and Bank Street. The luxury apartment building would include 186 units and commercial space on the first floor.
Submitted rendering

WAUKESHA — For several years only grass and dandelions have stood on the vacant land near the Fox River off Barstow Street and St. Paul Avenue in downtown Waukesha, but that could soon change if a proposal for 186 luxury apartments is approved for the site.

Campbell Capital Group, LLC out of Atlanta has submitted its request to construct a four- to five-story building on 4.21 acres of  vacant land, which once was the site of grocery stores and then thrift and antique stores. They have since been razed. Discussion of the request for the preliminary site and architectural review of the apartment building could be held during the June 12 Plan Commission meeting. The project would need approval by the Plan Commission and Common Council.

Jeff Fortin, senior planner, land use & redevelopment for Waukesha, said city staff have had several meetings with Campbell Capital Group to discuss the proposal, which they feel is appropriate for the location and fits within the vision of the central city master plan.

The proposal designates first-floor space for commercial use with residential space above.

Mayor Shawn Reilly hasn’t had much time to review the proposal since it was submitted, but he’s pleased to see a proposal for the vacant land.

“I am happy that we have a proposal for a development in that location,” he said, adding it’s early in the process. “I think multifamily and commercial is what is a good use for that site. It's been vacant or underutilized for a long time.”

 The Reserve at Waukesha, if approved, would be divided into four lots, including a future park along the Fox River, and a building containing 186 luxury apartment units.
Submitted image

Parking for the residences in the building would be in an attached seven-level garage with the design calling for concealment of the parking structure so the focus is on the views of the Fox River and historic buildings in downtown.

The development would include 2,100 square feet of commercial space.

“We will offer sophisticated interior unit features: controlled access entry gates; a two-story clubhouse/leasing center; resort-style pool; state-of-the-art fitness room and private courtyard. This project will be developed as a rental community; however, it will also be built with a level of design and finishes appropriate for potential conversion to condominium as the market may dictate in the future,” reads a letter to Fortin from Michael Campbell, of Campbell Capital Group.

He writes that there are two significant benefits for Waukesha: “an increase in tax base” and an “upscale community for those wishing to live, work and shop in the City of Waukesha.”

“The luxury apartment market today consists of an affluent individual who chooses to rent versus own, and is looking for an upscale community in close proximity to work, retail and entertainment. The Fox River walking path also encourages a healthy lifestyle that is important to our target market,” Campbell wrote.

In the development, 78% of the units would be one-bedroom and 22% would be two-bedroom.

The development’s commercial space is planned for the corner of Brehm Street and Bank Street, facing toward the Fox River.

The 4.21-acre project is comprised of four lots: lot one is 2 acres with the 186unit multi-family development; lot two is 0.49 acres that will be developed into a city park along the Fox River; lot three is a little over an acre and would be land along the Fox River for a future restaurant or brewery; and lot four is 0.6 acres along St. Paul Avenue and is controlled by the city.

The neighboring land that contains the former Hardee’s restaurant is not part of the redevelopment plan.

According to documents sent to the city, construction could start in 2010.