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Mandel proposes apartments in Whitefish Bay

5/15/2012 - By Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel

Mandel Group Inc. is proposing to build 103 upscale apartments in Whitefish Bay, a $27 million project that is seeking public financing.

The rental units would be on parking lots behind the Fox Bay Cinema building, 302-334 E. Silver Spring Drive, and other neighboring retail
properties, in three separate buildings, said Richard Lincoln, Mandel's senior vice president of development.

Two buildings would have three
stories and another would be four stories, he said Tuesday.

Part of the development site is a public parking lot owned by the village. The other parking lot is owned by Madison-based AnchorBank, which acquired the property this year from developers Boris Gokhman and Walter Shuk to help settle a foreclosure suit.
Mandel would replace 135 parking spaces owned by the village with 132 new street-level covered spaces that would be beneath the apartments. Those public spaces would be owned by the village and continue to be free, Lincoln said.

The apartment residents would have underground parking. The development would cost about $27 million. Mandel wants the village to borrow $1.6 million through a tax incremental financing district to help finance the project, Lincoln said.

It would pay for the public parking and improvements to a public walkway, which connects Silver Spring Drive to the public parking and E.Beaumont Ave., which runs north of the development site. The property taxes generated by the apartments would pay back that principal amount, plus the village's interest costs.

In addition, Mandel wants to use the development's property taxes to help pay off the firm's debt from financing the project. That would total about $150,000 annually for 20 years, Lincoln said.

Once the tax district expired, the property taxes would flow to the village, its school district and other local governments.

The apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms, would rent for about $1,300 to $2,400 a month, Lincoln said.
The units would target empty nesters looking to move out of their homes in Whitefish Bay and other North Shore communities, he said.

Mandel will make a presentation Wednesday night to the village Plan Commission after making an initial presentation Monday night to the
Community Development Authority, which didn't act on the financing request.
Along with seeking approval for the financing help, Mandel also needs a zoning change. Both actions require Village Board approval.

Mandel hopes to begin construction in early 2013, with the development completed by the summer of 2014.

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