A YMCA property on Milwaukee’s far northwest side would be redeveloped to include nearly 400 apartments, as well for-sale housing units, under a new proposal.
Royal Capital Group Ltd.’s plan for the 52-acre property, which is east of North Swan Road and south of West Fairy Chasm Road, could eventually total a $200 million investment.
The firm presented its plans Wednesday to the Granville Advisory Committee, which advises the Common Council on development proposals in the Granville area. The committee voted to support the development proposal.
Royal Capital, which bought the property in 2021 for $1.5 million, wants to develop the site in phases.
The development is called the Cudahy Farms Healthy Living Campus. That’s a nod to its former past before the John C. Cudahy Foundation donated the site decades ago to the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee Inc. — which later sold it to Royal Capital.
The first phase calls for 377 apartments in several two-story buildings. That includes 153 units set aside for seniors who can live independently.
Future phases would include housing units for sale, said Terrell Walter, Royal Capital’s development manager.
The idea would be for people who rent at the development to make a “natural transition” to buying housing units there, Walter told committee members.
Royal Capital also plans to use the site’s YMCA Northwest Early Childhood Education Center, 9050 N. Swan Road, as a community center.
The childhood education center is staying at the building under a 10-year lease with the YMCA.
Royal Capital also wants to add such services as a dental practice, eye doctor and an on-site property management office at that building.
Other amenities planned for the larger development site include a sledding hill, updates to the existing playground, pickleball courts and golf simulators.
Also, the site’s existing walking trails and baseball diamond will be incorporated into the development.
The baseball diamond also continues to host the YMCA’s Miracle League of Milwaukee, a universally accessible baseball league for children with physical and mental disabilities.
The Cudahy Farms Healthy Living Campus is to create a place which focuses on healthy living, said Kevin Newell, Royal Capital chief executive officer.
That’s an important selling point for prospective residents, said Tom Joy, of Engberg Anderson Architects, the project architect.
“They want activity,” Joy said.
The site’s layout includes green space that could be used for such events as a food truck night, craft market and live music, he said.
The buildings’ designs feature different materials to provide a varied appearance, Joy said.
Also, each apartment will have its own street-level entrance, Walter said.
Newell said Royal Capital would seek a tax incremental financing district to help pay for the development — a tactic used by other affordable housing developers throughout Wisconsin.
The financing district, which would need Common Council approval, would generate cash from the development’s property tax revenue.
Newell also made a plea for more financial backing from local private investors.
He said 98% of the capital raised by the firm for its developments comes from outside Wisconsin, with money provided by investors in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other cities.
“We literally have to go raise capital and bring it back to our neighborhoods,” Newell said.
Royal Capital’s developments include the conversion of the former Phillis Wheatley Elementary School, 2442 N. 20th St., into apartments, and the redevelopment of the former Schuster’s department store, 2153 N. King Drive, into ThriveOn King, which will feature apartments, offices, research space and community programs.
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