Apartments coming to Shorewood
Authority approves development plan
By Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel Aug. 5, 2011
A 22-unit upscale apartment building planned for Shorewood is set for a September groundbreaking.
The $6.6 million project, known as Ravenna, has its financing assembled, and its design approved, developer Blair Williams said at a Friday meeting of the Shorewood Community Development Authority.
The four-story building, with street-level commercial space and underground parking, will be built on a vacant lot in the 4500 block of N. Oakland Ave. It is to be completed by December 2012.
It will be across the street from the $7.5 million Cornerstone building, with 24 apartments, an Alterra Cafe and other street-level commercial space, which Williams completed last fall.
Ravenna’s monthly rents will be around $1,650 for two-bedroom units, and $2,800 for three-bedroom units, with the building targeting longtime Shorewood residents who are looking to rent after selling their houses.
Ravenna is being financed mainly with a loan from First Bank Financial Centre, of Oconomowoc, Williams said, along with equity capital.
Also, the village is providing financing help.
Shorewood in 2005 spent around $1.4 million to buy the development parcels, raze buildings that were there, and pay to relocate a dentist’s office that was in one of the buildings, said Village Manager Chris Swartz.
The village is selling the 18,080-square-foot parcel to Williams for $230,000, which is market value.
The remaining village financing of around $1.2 million will be repaid through property taxes generated by Ravenna, Cornerstone and other new projects within Shorewood’s Oakland Ave. tax incremental financing district.
That district’s entire debt is to be paid off by 2021. Once that occurs, the property taxes from new developments will flow to the village, its school district and other local governments.
Ravenna initially was planned as a $7.7 million, 22-unit condo project when the Village Board approved it in 2007.
However, demand for condos dropped sharply after the housing bubble burst.
Demand for high-end apartments in the North Shore is strong, so Williams has sought the village’s permission to instead develop rental units. The lower value for the apartments reflects changes to the interiors, including different appliances and fixtures, he said.
The authority’s board unanimously recommended approving the change in Ravenna’s plan. The Village Board will consider the issue at its Monday meeting.
Ravenna would be the second apartment development recently approved for Shorewood’s Oakland Ave. commercial district.
Mandel Group Inc. and RE Enterprises LLC will develop a six-story building west of N. Oakland Ave. and south of E. Kenmore Place, on the parking lot for Nehring’s Sendik’s grocery store. The building will relocate Walgreens from its current location across Kenmore Place, and will feature 84 apartments on the upper floors.
That $35 million project will include $8 million in public financing, which the Village Board approved in June.