The project includes the conversion of a historic exterior bearing masonry with wood floor construction school building originally designed by George Birnbach to 49 units of affordable independent living senior housing. The original public elementary school located in the Washington Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was constructed in 1903 with two 1911 additions, for a total of roughly 62,555 SF on 3 floors plus basement on a lot with an area of 69,149 square feet. The existing building was used as a school until 2005 after which it has remained vacant and boarded up. The project has received both WHEDA and Historic Preservation tax credits and will require coordination among National Park Service/WI State Historic Preservation Office and WHEDA, including conformance with Wisconsin Green Built Home Standards (minimum 150 points). Scope to include Focus on Energy utility incentive program.
Unit mix is (6) 2BR/1BA, (21) 1BR/1BA, and (22) Studio apartments. In addition to conversion to housing, the project scope is assumed to include complete overhaul of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and addition of full fire protection in compliance with current code requirements. An accessible entry including an elevator is planned off of the West façade of the building, with management offices located at the basement level in the existing 1-story portion of the building. The exterior work includes amenity space for seniors and visitors, a parking area and drop off, and fencing and landscaping throughout the site.