Wauwatosa, Wis.—As the charming, old-line community on Milwaukee’s western doorstep, Wauwatosa, Wis., savors an enviable distinction. It’s a place of higher-than-average median household incomes, good schools, walkable streets and an abundance of retail, restaurant and service businesses. Miller Park, Marquette University and the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds are all nearby.
That made it an appealing location for The Enclave, a 152-unit luxury apartment community that opened last year, and The Annex @ Enclave, a 40-unit extension of The Enclave. Construction on The Annex began December 1, and the building is anticipated to be unveiled by mid-July.
The Enclave reached stabilized occupancy 10 months ahead of schedule, and at rents slightly above what was originally projected.
“By all accounts, the project has been wildly successful,” Ryan Schultz, with Brett Haney founder and principal of Brookfield, Wis.-based HSI Properties LLC, tells MHN. “There’s a shortage of quality, newer construction multifamily for rent in Wauwatosa. The city, while it can be grouped as part of Milwaukee County, has its own identity and resources, and a wonderful school district that appealed to residents at The Enclave. We have a percentage of people who were empty nesters, wanted the charms of Wauwatosa, and didn’t want the headache of maintaining a house. We also have physicians, students of the Medical College of Wisconsin, nursing staff and others associated with Froedtert Hospital.”
While those types of folks comprise about half of the residents at The Enclave, the community is also favored by couples who commute in opposite directions. “You have situations where the husband may work in Milwaukee, and the wife in Oconomowoc, and Wauwatosa is a good mid-point,” Schultz says.
HSI Properties was also drawn to Wauwatosa because it promised a dearth of potential competitors. Schultz estimates there are fewer than half a dozen sites in the city where a project like The Annex or The Enclave could be proposed. “The barriers to entry for both projects were considerable,” he says.
All units at The Annex will be one-bedrooms. Residents of The Annex will enjoy access to all the amenities of The Enclave, including an outdoor swimming pool, clubroom, exercise facility and business center, Schultz says.
Both The Enclave and The Annex feature four floors of panelized wood-frame construction above one floor featuring an enclosed, pre-cast parking garage.
The Enclave was funded through FHA-HUD 221(d)(4) financing, while funding for The Annex, a much smaller project, came from a local conventional lender.
Schultz and Haney are now turning their attentions to two other HSI Properties developments earmarked for 2013 groundbreakings.
The Standard, a mixed-use residential development featuring 99 market-rate apartments, will rise in Milwaukee’s trendy east side North Ave. corridor. And RiverPointe, located on North Water St. along the river, will feature 87 market-rate apartments, Schultz reports.