Wisconsin Developers Take Comprehensive Approach to Historic Redevelopment of Vacant Industrial Complex to Apartments

MADISON, WI - The Community Within the Corridor (CWTC) development project is a comprehensive approach that will reinvigorate Milwaukee’s North Side. Formerly occupied by the Briggs & Stratton Corporation, the site of this massive industrial complex has been vacant for roughly 40 years. Scott Crawford Inc., a mixed-use real estate development firm out of Milwaukee and Roers Companies, a Minnesota-based real estate development firm broke ground on Wisconsin’s largest privately held affordable housing development in June of 2021. In partnership with Continuum Architects, this visionary new neighborhood center will include adapted re-use of 197 apartment units, 392 bedrooms, 35,000 square feet of commercial space and 25,000 square feet of recreational space – all designed to re-energize its historically blighted neighborhood.

Milwaukee’s North Side is known for being underdeveloped and even neglected – despite copious developments that have occurred in nearby areas. After five years of meticulous planning and persistent fundraising, this group of dynamic developers decided that they were done waiting for change. Que El-Amin, principal at Scott Crawford Inc., grew up in Milwaukee and is aware of the city’s need for new affordable housing options. “The focus of the development is affordability, meaning you should be able to afford it if you have a job, no matter if that's a low paying job or a high paying job,” said El-Amin

The Community Within the Corridor will not only provide area residents with an affordable place to sleep – it will serve as the community’s center for growth. The apartments will range from studios to four-bedroom units for families.

“A ‘Creative Corridor’ will offer space to attract and retain local artists. There will be a daycare for up to 200 children aged 6 weeks to 12 years, playgrounds, a full-scale gym, and courts for basketball, futsal and volleyball,” said El-Amin.

Although its most noticeable progress to date consists of the vast redevelopment of a long-vacant industrial complex, the impact of this project will soon begin to spread throughout Milwaukee’s North Side. “Having affordable housing available is key to our economy and recruiting the workforce Wisconsin businesses need,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

CWTC was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in March 2020, making it eligible to receive federal and state historic tax credits – but also making it subject to strict architectural regulations. Through selective demolition practices and visionary design, developers were able to get the project approved by local historic commissions and secure the requisite funding by way of private dollars, historic tax credits and various grants. Additionally, they made sure the building will maintain its historic charm by including various gallery walks that display some of the historical artifacts and objects that were collected through the selective demolition. For more information on the impact and design of this transformational project, hear from the project developers themselves in this video or visit www.cwcmilwaukee.com

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