Work continues on delayed conversion of former Pabst building to lofts, with March completion set

Work continues on delayed conversion of former Pabst building to lofts, with March completion set

EB-5 Visa, EB5 Visa, EB5 Investments

Work is continuing on the conversion of a former Pabst Brewing Co. building in Milwaukee into loft apartments, with the project now set for completion by March.

The Brewery Lofts are being created at the former Pabst malt house, 1009 W. Juneau Ave.

The $41 million development will feature 118 high-end apartments on seven floors when completed.

An affiliate of New York-based Whitestone Realty Capital LLC bought the malt house and an adjacent building in January 2016 for $1.6 million. The city building permit allowing the renovations to begin was issued in December 2016.

However, that work stopped in June 2017 and didn't resume for several months after its construction costs spiked.

Whitestone hired a new general contractor, Indianapolis-based WDG Construction Group Inc., and made changes to the renovation plans.

City building inspectors approved those changes in May, according to Department of Neighborhood Services records. 

But bad weather, including higher than average rainfall, has affected the project, which includes a new roof and new floors for the historic building, said Andrew Larson, a WDG Construction project superintendent.

"It has been some slow progress," Larson said. "We are trying to get a roof on before winter."

WDG Construction now expects to have the apartments completed by the end of March, Larson said.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee Pabst Holdings LLC, the investors group that owns the property, has had a change among its partners.

Mike Zukerman, Whitestone Realty president, is still an owner but is no longer controlling partner, Zukerman told the Journal Sentinel.

Instead, investor Robert Lubin has taken that role, Zukerman said.

Zukerman said the changed occurred in part because Zukerman was busy with other projects on which he and Lubin are partners.

Lubin didn't respond to requests for more information. He's the founder of Lubin, Salvetti & Associates, an immigration law firm based in Herndon, Virginia.

Lubin also is managing partner of American Investor Immigration Funds LLC, which raises capital through the federal government's EB-5 program.

That program provides foreign investors with green cards in return for investing in developments that create jobs. EB-5 funds have financed other Milwaukee construction projects, including several hotels.

David Roos, real estate development and project manager at American Investor Immigration Funds, also is a principal owner of the Brewery Lofts project, according to city records.

The Brewery Lofts' financing includes federal and state historic preservation tax credits, which cover part of the restoration costs in return for following strict construction guidelines.

The lofts project is among the last developments that are part of the conversion of the 21-acre former Pabst complex into The Brewery, which includes hotels, apartments, offices, breweries and other new uses.



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