Apartment building next to Milwaukee historic district approvedOctober 12, 2020
A fire-damaged building at East Park Place and North Downer Avenue will be replaced by a four-unit apartment building under newly approved plans. The fire, which a Milwaukee man has been criminally charged with setting, occurred in August 2019. (Photo: Alison Dirr / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
A small apartment building will replace a similar building badly damaged in a fire on Milwaukee’s east side.
Seattle-based Bridge33 Capital LLC plans to build a three-story building with four townhouse-style apartments at 2604 E. Park Place.
That site is just across Park Place from the historic Downer Avenue Commercial District.
The new building, approved Thursday by the Board of Zoning Appeals, is to replace a three-unit apartment building left uninhabitable after the August 2019 fire.
A Milwaukee man, Paul E. Wise, 53, was charged with with arson, three counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and misdemeanor battery in connection with the fire. That case is still pending in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, with a plea and sentencing hearing scheduled for Nov. 2, according to online court records.
Bridge33 Capital’s $1 million development proposal needed zoning board approval because its setback from Park Place is smaller than normally allowed. That’s partly due to the future building’s porches.
The board unanimously approved the proposal with conditions that require additional landscaping and screening.
That was supported by Ald. Nik Kovac, whose district includes the site.
Kovac told board members that most of the people attending a neighborhood meeting on the proposal support the new plan.
Bridge33 Capital also operates two buildings, at 2608-2650 and 2551-2597 N. Downer Ave., that comprise much of the Downer Avenue Commercial District.
The buildings total about 61,000 square feet, and were sold to a Bridge33 Capital affiliate in April for $11.25 million.
Their tenants include Starbucks, Boswell Book Co., Downer Theatre, Pizza Man restaurant and Henry’s Pub and Grille on the west side of Downer Ave., and Cafe Hollander, Downer Cleaners, Breadsmith, Downer Wine & Spirits and Stone Creek Coffee on the street’s east side.
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