A historic building on the Mitchell Street corridor will undergo redevelopment as part of the city of Milwaukee’s commitment to improving the area. The vacant former Hill’s department store will be converted into 60 new apartments, along with the new location of the Forest Home Public Library branch.
Historic Mitchell Street — once a regional destination for retail, goods, and services — is in Milwaukee’s master plan for the Near South Side. The project is expected to spark revitalization, promoting additional commercial and residential opportunities.
“There are once-in-a-generation projects, and IFF stepped up to fill a critical need when no other lender would,” said Sam McGovern-Rowen, executive director of the library. “The Milwaukee Public Library is extremely grateful for the support of IFF. Leverage, impact, and community — IFF gets it. Special thanks to Sue Eick, director of lending in Wisconsin for seeing this through!”
The Historic Mitchell Street apartments has garnered the support of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is important in a neighborhood with a strong Latino presence. The site is close to public transit and sits adjacent to the Gerald L. Ignace Health Center, a project partly financed by IFF that celebrated its grand opening last month.
IFF is providing $825,000 in financing for the $20 million project. Other funding sources include First Business Bank and new markets and historic tax credits.
This is IFF’s sixth project with the developer, Gorman & Co. Previously, they collaborated on Villard Square, a similar redevelopment with housing and a first-floor public library branch. Annual library visits increased by over 60,000 at this library location.