Historic Germania Building Celebrates its Rich Past and Bright Future with Grand Opening

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Left to Right: Kalan Haywood, Haywood Group; Rocky Marcoux, City of Milwaukee-Dept. of City Development; Erich Schwenker, Cardinal Capital Management Photo Credit: Pat A. Robinson

Left to Right: Kalan Haywood, Haywood Group; Rocky Marcoux, City of Milwaukee-Dept. of City Development; Erich Schwenker, Cardinal Capital Management

Photo Credit: Pat A. Robinson

On Thurs., September, 28, 2017, Cardinal Capital in partnership with Haywood Group (formerly known as Vangard Group, LLC) joined local and state officials, investors, and residents to celebrate the grand opening of the historic Germania, a 90-unit, mixed-income housing project located in downtown Milwaukee.

Built in 1896, the eight-story, 110,000 sf steel frame building was Milwaukee's first skyscraper. It was the world's largest German newspaper building, at a time when Milwaukee had more local newspapers in German than in English. It fell on hard times in recent decades, twice passing through foreclosure. No longer functional as an office building, Cardinal Capital and Haywood Group partnered to redevelop Germania as an engaging collection of 90 one and two bedroom apartments.

There are 14 distinct floor plans at Germania. Apartment sizes range from 462 to 1,207 sf. Each floor is configured somewhat differently, so no one unit is the same as any other. But all apartments have the same amenities, including full size washer and dryers, stainless steel appliances and quality finishes. All utilities, except unit electricity, are included. Building amenities include Club Room, Pet Spa, and Fitness Center. All significant Historic features have been retained, including walk-in safes on each floor, marble foyers and stairways, and Germania's signature windows. There is over 8,000 sf commercial space on the 1st floor.

The $21.7 million rehab cost was financed through Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Tax Credits, WHEDA loans, Tax Incremental Financing from City of Milwaukee and Equity through Boston Capital and Associated Bank. The architects were Korb + Associates Architects. Cardinal Capital was General Contractor. Unemployed and underemployed Milwaukee residents identified through the City of Milwaukee Residents Preference Program completed 40% of the work.