By Teresa Garcia, Marketing Manager, Novogradac 
May 2019 

A once-vacant historic compound in Milwaukee is taking one step closer to complete revitalization.

The former Pabst Brewing Company compound’s historic malt house and malt elevator buildings are being converted into Brewery Lofts, 118 units of market-rate housing, with funding from federal and state historic tax credits (HTCs). Built in 1882, the malt house and malt elevator buildings are the final two structures to be renovated within the historic Pabst compound.

“Brewery Lofts will be the one of the last of the original Pabst Brewery buildings to be resorted back to use for 118 luxury multifamily apartments,” said developer David Roos. “This building will be completed by the end of 2019, and we would like thank the city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin for helping make this project a reality.”

The development is being financed with a bridge-to-U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan that was arranged by Holly Bray with Love Funding. “The development had already started construction, which precludes it from going straight to HUD, so we teamed up with our parent company, Midland States Bank, and provided a solution for the client,” said Bray. “Midland’s bridge-to-HUD loan will provide funds to complete the construction and lease up of the property. Three years from the certificate of occupancy, Love Funding will refinance the bridge loan with a 35-year, self-amortizing 223(f) loan.”

“The project itself is so unique from an historic perspective. I am not aware of any other historic grain storage facilities being converted to multifamily,” said Richard Kantor, director of commercial banking at Midland States Bank. “It is a very special project. Once completed this will be an attractive addition to the local market and provide needed housing to the market for many years to come.”

Campus History and Adaptive Reuse
Pabst Brewing Company has longstanding roots in Milwaukee, where it became the largest brewer in the nation and achieved 1 million barrels of beer produced by the 1890s. Pabst eventually closed its Milwaukee campus in 1996 and the property sat vacant for years. In the early 2000s, various developers and investors took interest in the adaptive reuse of the expansive campus and its 26 buildings.

“This whole complex covers 20 acres and has 6.5 city blocks,” said Bray, senior director of Love Funding, which provided a $15 million bridge loan to the project. “It’s a huge, diverse campus including a 6,000 square-foot German Methodist church built in 1872 and a 250,000 square-foot historic bottling building from 1900.”

Source: Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2019 issue)

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Holly Bray

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