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The Urbanite Rises

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Meet Urbanite, New Land’s new 13-story apartment tower rising at 1840 N. Farwell Ave.

We last profiled the project before a name was publicly announced. Now the building has a name, and soon it will have a facade. Construction workers could be spotted Friday morning installing a brick facade on the lower levels and windows on some of the higher floors of the 13-story tower.

When complete, the new building will include 153 apartments, a mix one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and studio units. The building will also include a 215-stall parking garage on the building’s lower floors, 10,000 square-feet of office space and first-floor commercial space. Award-winning chef Justin Carlisle announced in 2016 that he’ll open a deli in the building, complementing his Red Light Ramen and Ardent restaurants just across the street.

Stevens Construction is leading the construction of the building. The project was originally designed by Kindness Architecture, which has since been acquired by Eppstein Uhen Architects.

The project is being developed by Jim Wiechmann of Wiechmann Enterprises and Tim Gokhman of New Land Enterprises.

The tower replaces a four-story, modernist office building that was deconstructed in late 2016. Originally built in 1961, that building housed the offices of New Land Enterprises and a handful of other tenants. New Land relocated to the building immediately south of the project in advance of construction and is expected to move into the new building’s office space. A surface parking lot was also eliminated as part of the development.

How do the neighbors feel about all of this? A February 2016 meeting led by Alderman Nik Kovac had only two attendees in opposition, a true oddity for the dense Lower East Side.

Contrast that to New Land’s other big project, the proposed apartment building for 2130 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View, where people spoke in opposition at every hearing. That project was unanimously approved by the Common Council in July 2016. Hopefully when that project is complete Bay Viewers will come to value the vibrancy and vitality that density provides, as many East Siders have.

Jeramey Jannene
Urban Milwaukee

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