The Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, which dates back to 1902, will be redeveloped into mixed-income housing by the Royal Capital Group.
willm The Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, which dates back to 1902, will be redeveloped into mixed-income housing by the Royal Capital Group.

The adaptive-reuse of the former Phillis Wheatley Elementary School along with the construction of a new building will bring 82 mixed-income homes to Milwaukee.

Hunt Capital Partners and developer Royal Capital Group announced that the development will be supported by $13.1 million in tax credit equity. Federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and federal and state historic tax credits have been allocated for the project.

Located in the Lindley Heights neighborhood of central Milwaukee, the approximately $21.9 million development will have a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with 67 affordable LIHTC units set aside for households earning up to 30%, 50%, and 60% of the area median income and 15 market-rate units. Seventeen units will be set aside for low-income veterans.

“The Phillis Wheatley Apartments will realize Milwaukee’s vision of transforming the site, unused since 2005, into a residential complex with elements that promote healthy living, community engagement, and entrepreneurship,” said Dana Mayo, executive managing director at Hunt Capital Partners. “The project will also provide well-deserved housing for veterans otherwise facing homelessness. In addition to a new fitness center, an existing commercial kitchen and café will greatly benefit residents of the project.”

Unit amenities will include blinds, patios/balconies, central HVAC systems, ceiling fans, coat closets, walk-in closets, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and in-unit washer/dryers.

Community amenities will include a business center, a community room/clubhouse, elevators, a fitness center, a theater room, and on-site management. Supportive service providers will include the Milwaukee County Veterans’ Services, which will provide outreach and referral services to the veterans and their families, and Lutheran Social Services.

JPMorgan Chase is the primary lender on the project, providing a $15.4 million construction loan and a $3.64 million permanent loan. Chase is also extending a tax increment financing loan for $1.05 million. Other financing is coming from local HOME funds and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s Affordable Housing Program. Hunt Capital Partners syndicated the tax credits through its proprietary fund, Hunt Capital Fund Tax Credit Fund 26.

This will be the second venture between Hunt Capital Partners and Royal Capital Group. The firms partnered previously on the Fortitude Apartments in Milwaukee.

Other participants in the development include Wisconsin Management Co., the management agent; and Greenfire Management Services, the general contractor; and Engberg Anderson, the project architect. Construction is expected to take 13 months.