Barrett Lo gets second HUD deadline extension to secure financing for The Couture

Given another 60 days to submit application for loan guarantee

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted a second extension to Milwaukee-based Barrett Lo Visionary Development to submit an application for a loan guarantee for The Couture, the proposed 44-story luxury apartment tower that the development firm plans to build near the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee.

Barrett Lo has been working for years on the project, estimated at one time to cost $122.5 million, at the former Downtown Milwaukee Transit Center site southwest of Michigan Street and Lincoln Memorial Drive. The building would have 322 apartments, a transit hub, pedestrian bridges to adjacent sites and restaurant and retail space.

In early November HUD asked Barrett Lo to submit additional information for its loan guarantee application, indicating that the pre-application process for the loan guarantee was completed. Barrett Lo was given a Jan. 26 deadline to complete that application, but was unable to do so and was granted an extension to May 27. Now HUD has granted another extension, this time to July 26.

HUD spokesman James Cunningham said the latest extension, which was approved by the HUD field office in Washington D.C., was granted to give Barrett Lo more time to put the financing package together for the project.

A report from the Milwaukee Department of City Development indicates that the HUD loan guarantee would cover $80 million in financing for the project, $20 million would be provided by other investors and $5 million would be provided by Barrett Lo and its partners. The city would provide $17.5 million in tax incremental financing for the transit hub and other public improvements.

Barrett told BizTimes Milwaukee today that he continues to make progress on putting the funding package together for The Couture.

He has expressed similar sentiments in other recent interviews. In a recent appearance on the MKE Forward podcast, presented by Colliers International, Barrett said, “we are down to our last slug of money (to finance The Couture). It’s $15 million. That’s where we’re at. We’re trying to raise that last piece.”

First unveiled in 2012, The Couture has faced numerous delays, starting with a years-long battle over the development rights of the site. The size and complexity of the project makes it difficult to finance, Barrett said.

“It’s a humongous project, it’s a complex project,” he said. “It isn’t like any other deal out there.”

Since completing the HUD pre-application process, “we’ve had a few months to raise a significant amount of equity for a very large project,” Barrett said. “We’re moving forward.”

BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Alex Zank contributed to this report.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted a second extension to Milwaukee-based Barrett Lo Visionary Development to submit an application for a loan guarantee for The Couture, the proposed 44-story luxury apartment tower that the development firm plans to build near the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee.

Barrett Lo has been working for years on the project, estimated at one time to cost $122.5 million, at the former Downtown Milwaukee Transit Center site southwest of Michigan Street and Lincoln Memorial Drive. The building would have 322 apartments, a transit hub, pedestrian bridges to adjacent sites and restaurant and retail space.

In early November HUD asked Barrett Lo to submit additional information for its loan guarantee application, indicating that the pre-application process for the loan guarantee was completed. Barrett Lo was given a Jan. 26 deadline to complete that application, but was unable to do so and was granted an extension to May 27. Now HUD has granted another extension, this time to July 26.

HUD spokesman James Cunningham said the latest extension, which was approved by the HUD field office in Washington D.C., was granted to give Barrett Lo more time to put the financing package together for the project.

A report from the Milwaukee Department of City Development indicates that the HUD loan guarantee would cover $80 million in financing for the project, $20 million would be provided by other investors and $5 million would be provided by Barrett Lo and its partners. The city would provide $17.5 million in tax incremental financing for the transit hub and other public improvements.

Barrett told BizTimes Milwaukee today that he continues to make progress on putting the funding package together for The Couture.

He has expressed similar sentiments in other recent interviews. In a recent appearance on the MKE Forward podcast, presented by Colliers International, Barrett said, “we are down to our last slug of money (to finance The Couture). It’s $15 million. That’s where we’re at. We’re trying to raise that last piece.”

First unveiled in 2012, The Couture has faced numerous delays, starting with a years-long battle over the development rights of the site. The size and complexity of the project makes it difficult to finance, Barrett said.

“It’s a humongous project, it’s a complex project,” he said. “It isn’t like any other deal out there.”

Since completing the HUD pre-application process, “we’ve had a few months to raise a significant amount of equity for a very large project,” Barrett said. “We’re moving forward.”

BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Alex Zank contributed to this report.

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