Goll Mansion apartment tower wins Common Council approval

$55 million project includes 192 apartments on Prospect Avenue

The controversial Goll Mansion project, which includes moving the 120-year-old house closer to the street and building a 27-story, 192-unit apartment tower behind it, received Milwaukee Common Council approval Tuesday, 18 months after initially being proposed.

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The $55 million project at 1550 N. Prospect Ave., has been opposed by neighbors who said they didn’t want additional traffic, construction disturbances or blocked views and their alderman, who up until the end, attempted to block the project.

“Nowhere in our ordinances does it say increasing the tax base is a criteria for a zoning change,” said Alderman Robert Bauman, who represents the district where the Goll is located.

Bauman attempted at one point to force the Madison-based project developer, Chris Houden, to put $3.5 million in an escrow account to ensure he would meet unrequired hiring standards. The city attorney later said the idea was illegal.

In the end, the project was approved 12-2-1 with Bauman and Jose Perez voting against it and Alderwoman Milele Coggs abstaining.

A supermajority vote of 12 was needed for the project to pass, which was the case one year ago, when the motion failed on a 10-5 vote.

Houden first submitted plans for the Goll Mansion project in February 2016. After not gaining approval last fall, Houden, who owns the 9,000-square-foot mansion, resurfaced in June with a revised, but similar proposal. Many sustainability/green components were added in the revisions including solar panels, a car-charging station in the parking area, native Wisconsin plants, green roof areas and bicycle parking.

“We are thrilled to be bringing a major new investment to the City of Milwaukee — adding a great new residential option to the East Side neighborhood and saving and restoring the historic Goll House,” Houden said. “We are grateful for the support of the Council, as well as the broad support we’ve received from the community.”

The controversial Goll Mansion project, which includes moving the 120-year-old house closer to the street and building a 27-story, 192-unit apartment tower behind it, received Milwaukee Common Council approval Tuesday, 18 months after initially being proposed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The $55 million project at 1550 N. Prospect Ave., has been opposed by neighbors who said they didn’t want additional traffic, construction disturbances or blocked views and their alderman, who up until the end, attempted to block the project.

“Nowhere in our ordinances does it say increasing the tax base is a criteria for a zoning change,” said Alderman Robert Bauman, who represents the district where the Goll is located.

Bauman attempted at one point to force the Madison-based project developer, Chris Houden, to put $3.5 million in an escrow account to ensure he would meet unrequired hiring standards. The city attorney later said the idea was illegal.

In the end, the project was approved 12-2-1 with Bauman and Jose Perez voting against it and Alderwoman Milele Coggs abstaining.

A supermajority vote of 12 was needed for the project to pass, which was the case one year ago, when the motion failed on a 10-5 vote.

Houden first submitted plans for the Goll Mansion project in February 2016. After not gaining approval last fall, Houden, who owns the 9,000-square-foot mansion, resurfaced in June with a revised, but similar proposal. Many sustainability/green components were added in the revisions including solar panels, a car-charging station in the parking area, native Wisconsin plants, green roof areas and bicycle parking.

“We are thrilled to be bringing a major new investment to the City of Milwaukee — adding a great new residential option to the East Side neighborhood and saving and restoring the historic Goll House,” Houden said. “We are grateful for the support of the Council, as well as the broad support we’ve received from the community.”

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