$20 – $27.50

NAWIC MKE Chapter 105 October Event-Welford Sanders Enterprise Center and L...

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Welford Sanders Enterprise Center and Lofts - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, WI

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Catalyst Construction is currently converting a 184,843 square-foot former Nunn Bush Shoe Co. factory into a mix of offices and apartments. A partnership comprised of Wisconsin Development, and the non-profit Martin Luther King Economic Development Corporation, is redeveloping the property. They’re converting the complex into 59 apartments and 38,000 square-feet of office space. As part of the conversion, a two-story, 1960s-era addition will be demolished to form an interior courtyard space inside of the historic u-shaped complex.

One of the last conversations Welford Sanders had was with Bob Lemke, president of Wisconsin Redevelopment, LLC. They talked about the future of the building that houses the Milwaukee Enterprise Center(MEC), 2821 N. 4th St.

“He was constantly thinking and obsessing about the project,” Lemke said. “It was another part of his long-term vision for the area.”

The original idea was for the building to become the fifth phase of the King Drive Commons, said Lemke, whose organization is working with the Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp. (MLKEDC) on the project. The Commons, a series of mixed-use developments, was championed by Sanders and has served as a catalyst for a number of projects in Harambee.

When Sanders, the longtime leader and public face of MLKEDC died two years ago, the plan was in danger of falling into disarray, according to Lemke. The organization brought in Leo Ries, who’d recently retired from LISC Milwaukee, to take over the project. Two years and various obstacles later, financing on the $21 million deal has been closed and another chapter added to its namesake’s book on resurrecting communities. It has been renamed theWelford Sanders Historic Lofts.

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Welford Sanders Enterprise Center and Lofts - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, WI

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