Milhaus Development LLC is expanding its presence on the east side of downtown by entering into a deal with the city to purchase a thin strip of land for building an unusual apartment project.
The local developer of multi-family housing has agreed to buy for $1 a block-long strip of land along the north side of Market Street between New Jersey and East streets. The land abuts a city-owned parking garage on the north side of the street.
Milhaus plans to build 52 units to front the exterior of the garage, essentially creating a five-story, one-unit-thick corridor of housing along the stretch. One lane of Market Street, which spans four lanes there, will be vacated to help make way for the development.
The city originally put the land up for bid late last year but received only one response—from Milhaus. But city officials rejected the company’s proposal because it sought to lease the land and had asked for city subsidies to help build the project.
Milhaus returned with another proposal, to buy the land for $1 with no city assistance, which officials have accepted.
“It takes land that has little to no potential and turns it into a significant tax generator,” said Adam Thies, executive director of the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development.
The design will get its first review Oct. 16, from the city’s Regional Center Hearing Examiner.
Milhaus built the $30 million Artistry apartment development between Market and Washington streets and has started the second phase, the $32 million two-building Mentor and Muse to the west.
The three buildings south of Market Street will have a total of 500 apartments. Artistry also has 68,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space.
“If you look at what’s there, it’s a huge improvement,” Milhaus President Jeremy Stephenson said.
Milhaus plans to start construction on the garage project in the winter and finish by summer, about the time the company begins delivering the first units for occupancy at Mentor and Muse.