WEST ALLIS — The Community Development Authority of the City of West Allis announced Monday, February 22nd they have recommended to the mayor and West Allis Common Council the selection of Milwaukee-based Mandel Group, Inc. as the developer for two premier sites totaling 13.3 acres of land within the Six Points/Farmers Market Redevelopment Area located between the 6500 block of W. Greenfield Avenue and W. National Avenue.
The $62 million proposal by Mandel Group, Inc., referred to as The Market at Six Points, offers 46,250 square feet of commercial space, 200 contemporary apartments, eight townhomes, and a 40,000 sq. ft. office building, all neighboring the popular West Allis Farmers Market.
The city plans to formalize a development agreement in the coming weeks with construction commencing in fall of 2016.
“The immediate freeway access is also a huge plus. In our past experience, this type of mixed-use housing development beat all expectations in terms of pricing and absorption. We would expect similar performance for the residential component of The Corners. West Allis is proud to work with Mandel Group, Inc. on the next generation of development within the Six Points neighborhood. Mandel is a leading multi-family developer in the greater Milwaukee area that recognizes the immense potential of a West Allis opportunity,” said Mayor Dan Devine.
Devine added that Mandel is recognized for many high-caliber developments and numerous successful projects that have transformed neighborhoods in which they are located, both downtown and in the suburbs. The Market at Six Points proposal is a project that will enhance a neighborhood that is already a regional draw with a Farmers Market that attracts thousands of visitors each week interested in local produce, plants, meats and much more.
“We are excited to build off the existing assets in the area, including the popular West Allis Farmer’s Market and the growing concentration of restaurants. Our intent is to create a dynamic mix of residential and food-based commercial uses that form a unique urban destination. The city has demonstrated a commitment to and vision for Six Points and we look forward to joining them in this transformative effort.” said Ian B. Martin, vice president of development of Mandel Group.
The development concept builds on the surrounding West Allis neighborhood while adding destination commercial uses that will contribute to the city’s efforts to grow a food cluster. Potential uses include a brew pub, a specialty grocery store, restaurants, other food purveyors and retail as well as commercial uses.
In addition, the project will offer two multi-family buildings with 200 modern apartment units, generating a refreshingly new benchmark for apartment living in West Allis. The buildings will feature a unique urban design with elements derived from the Farmers Market. The units will be accented by hard flooring, granite or solid countertops, custom cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances. Residential units will be constructed overlooking a landscaped central green space. Other building amenities will include a club house facility, health and fitness center, balconies, and a demonstration kitchen for hosting cooking classes with items sourced from the Farmers Market.
The project will include eight townhomes, providing a unique residential option new to West Allis. Located south of the commercial development, the townhomes will blend into the single-family neighborhood on the east side of S. 65th St.
“The CDA has aggressively marketed the site,” stated Gerald Matter, chairperson of the CDA, adding “the proposals received for the site all would revitalize the area, but Mandel’s proposal is a game changer for West Allis.”
The city and Mandel Group, Inc. continue discussions on the overall financing strategies for the project. The use of tax incremental financing, as well as new market tax credits, are being considered as financial tools.
The city of West Allis formed a tax increment finance district for the Six Points/Farmers Market area. First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise (FIRE), the city’s regional community development entity, has successfully deployed allocations of new market tax credits to advance projects in the region. FIRE projects in West Allis include a new $13 million Hampton Inn & Suites with a banquet facility, the $15 million Renaissance Faire high-end office renovation, and a $14 million light industrial development at S. 116 St. and W. Rogers St.
“We believe the Mandel Group’s proposal will attract residents like millennials looking for convenient access to the entire metro-Milwaukee area, public transportation or amenities like the Hank Aaron Trail, and walkable neighborhoods with local shopping and unique dining experiences,” said Tom Lajsic, Common Council president.
The Six Points/Farmers Market site is conveniently near the Summit Place development, a 650,000 sq. ft. office complex, formerly Allis-Chalmers Mfg.; the Milwaukee Medical Complex; and the recent Johnson Controls development at Renaissance Faire located at 801 S. 60 St.