Milwaukee real estate industry observers are watching the ambitious project with great interest to see if it will be successful. It is also being watched by taxpayers and government officials because of subsidies provided for the project. The AFL-CIO Investment Trust provided a $42 million loan, backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's 221(d)4 program. The city of Milwaukee provided a $9.3 million loan.
Tenants for four of the apartments in the building moved in last week and tenants for another five units are expected to move in this week said developer Rick Barrett, owner of Barrett Visionary Development LLC.
Much of the building is still under construction, which will be complete on Sept. 1. Once completed, it will have 203 apartments, 14 condominiums and an 8,000-square-foot Carson’s Prime Steaks and Famous BBQ restaurant. Construction of the restaurant has not begun yet. It is expected to start soon and be open in December.
Rents for the apartments range from $1,340 to $4,500 per month. The condos are priced between $243,000 and $2.5 million.
Barrett said he expects 15 tenants to move in by the end of August. The original goal for the project was to have 30 tenants moved in to apartments by the end of the year. However, the project is two months ahead of schedule, in large part because of last winter’s unusually mild weather.
So far about 20 tenants have signed leases for apartments in The Moderne.
“Momentum is building,” Barrett said. “I believe we will exceed our projections.”
The pro forma for the project expected five apartment tenants to move in each month. At that pace it would take about 40 months (or almost 3.5 years) to lease up the apartments in The Moderne.
“We’re going to beat that, I think,” Barrett said.
So far two of the condominiums in the building have been reserved.