Find On Facebook


Prospects take shape in and around Eischweiler buildings in Wauwatosa

1/28/2014 - The Mandel Group hopes to break ground on the proposed apartment complex surrounding the Eschweiler buildings in early July after final design work and hard-cost figures are developed, said Mandel project manager Phillip Aiello.

The company plans to spend $42 million to build half a dozen buildings containing about 192 apartments in a semi-circle around the historic Eschweiler buildings in Innovation Campus.

After an initial planning stage lasting more than two years and involving a myriad players — including the city, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Wauwatosa School District, an independent school, and historic preservation and habitat protection groups — just one hurdle remains: a governance agreement between the school district and the University Lab School, a charter school sponsored by the UWM that plans to be housed in the Eschweiler buildings.
A framework

"We are utterly agreed on what kind of agreement we want," said Danny Goldberg, who directs the charter school.

He said the key elements of an agreement with the school district would be built on shared services, and a method to "ascribe and register the enrollment."

School Superintendent Phil Ertl said he agreed with Goldberg's description of the outline of the pact.

"We now have to be able to turn that agreement into something doable and sustainable," Ertl said in an email.

The Wauwatosa School Board had objected to a charter school within the school district, using public money, and not operated by itself.

Ertl and the board viewed it as a possible competitor for students and the funding that accompanies them. City leaders agreed, and, as part of the development agreement with Mandel, required the charter school and the district to come to some kind of agreement that satisfied the district.
A complex deal

The University Lab School is an entity of the Forest Exploration Center, which has proposed using the Eschweilers as a home for its school, an arrangement that city leaders and Mandel view as a way to save the deteriorating buildings from the wrecking ball and putting them to active use. The buildings are controlled by Mandel and would be leased to the school for a dollar a year.

Under a complex agreement, the Forest Exploration Center will have year from Mandel's groundbreaking date to "raise sufficient funds to get out project off the ground," Tom Gaertner, an FEC board member. This means rehabilitating the administration building, stabilizing the other Eschweilers, and opening the school in the fall of 2015.

Gaertner estimated the funding necessary to accomplish this phase at $6 million, made up of a contribution from Mandel of $2.5 million, the sale of tax credits, and fundraising of about $1.8 million.

Mandel is paying for some of the rehab of the administration building, which it will use for a leasing office and common space for apartment residents.
Raising funds

If the school fails to raise the money, the Mandel Group will raze one smaller building, and reduce two others to walled gardens, preserving only the administration building.

Gaertner said the FEC has submitted a number of grant proposals to potential donors. He said donors have showed interest but have first asked if the school had been chartered by the UWM, which it now has accomplished, and if the governance agreement with the school district has been completed.

"We're very close to that," he said.

For Mandel, a key understanding was reached last fall with the Wisconsin Historical Society, which has an interest in the fate of the Eschweilers.

Aiello and Chip Brown, a government assistance specialist at the society, both said that if the FEC fails to raise sufficient funds, a request for proposals will be issued to see if another entity can be drawn to the buildings, before they are brought down.

Aiello said the agreement gave Mandel a degree of certainty that will allow the plan to proceed, assuming the schools reach agreement.

-By Jon Olson, Wauwatosa NOW

News Articles

He Built this City

CRE Guide: Community Spotlight - Shorewood

Mandel Group Announces Sellouts at Two Condominium Developments

UWM's Innovation Center in Wauwatosa moving forward

Mandel Group Honored for Fire Rescue of Elderly Couple

Milwaukee and state officials talk unity at North End groundbreaking


BOMA 2012 AWARDS Mandel Group Apartment Portfolio Wins Seven Awards for Excellence


Bay working out tax incremental financing details for Mandel luxury apartments

Mandel proposes apartments in Whitefish Bay

The Corners public financing plan wins initial OK

Mandel wants to raze four historic Wauwatosa buildings, preserve one

Dreamscape: Developers pitch ideas for Park East corridor

Mandel Apartments Slated for February Groundbreaking

Mandel Group hopes to start Domus project next year

$4.6 Million in Public Funds OK'd for Mandel Apartment Project

SVP of Milwaukee’s The Mandel Group earns top position with NAIOP Wisconsin

The Marcus Corporation Selects Mandel Group as Residential Consultant for The Corners of Brookfield

Forest Exploration Center Raising Money

Panel OKs Mandel's Brookfield Apartment Plan after Downsizing

Final Apartment Plans for Towne Centre a Compromise in Brookfield

Lighthorse 4041 Recieves Urban Planning Award from Wisconsin Planning Association

Mandel Plans Lakefront High-Rise

Barry Mandel: A visionary in Milwaukee

Eschweiler residential development is well worth an investment by the city

Prospects take shape in and around Eischweiler buildings in Wauwatosa

Specialty grocer in works for Park East's North End development

Mandel charts 250 apartments, two buildings for North End's final phase

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market to open store at North End

Mandel Group completes lease-up of North End's second phase, Shorewood project

Milwaukee OKs money for North End riverwalk, dockwall work

Mandel shoots for mid-2014 construction start for North Avenue apartments, climbing wall

Mandel Group is a Proud Sponsor - YP Week

30 Million Apartment Project Given First City Approval

Mandel Group's plate overflows with apartment projects

Mandel apartments, rock climbing facility on North Avenue approved

2014 Mayor’s Design Awards

Mandel's 3rd Ward apartment, river walk designs get plan commission approval

Developer Barry Mandel says building Milwaukee takes more than concrete

Construction to begin on third phase of North End, Fresh Thyme grocery

Mandel Group provides free space for creative companies

Third Ward redevelopment lands firm as anchor tenant


RiverCrest Condominiums Groundbreaking

10/16/04 RiverCrest Model Grand Opening

North Avenue Dam Pedestrian Bridge


Pile Driving Begins at The North End

North End project to assist minority-owned businesses


Funding proposed for Park East development

Getting Away to Milwaukee