Milwaukee Planners Reject Rezoning of Bank Property for Self-Storage Development

Update 12/9/15 – Planning commissioners have rejected the rezoning request submitted by Highland Development Ventures, which intends to build a self-storage facility near Washington Park. The commission voted 4-1 this week against the rezoning, which would ultimately need approval from the 15-member Milwaukee Common Council, according to the source.

Update 12/9/15 – Planning commissioners have rejected the rezoning request submitted by Highland Development Ventures, which intends to build a self-storage facility near Washington Park. The commission voted 4-1 this week against the rezoning, which would ultimately need approval from the 15-member Milwaukee Common Council, according to the source.

The self-storage facility would replace the existing building, which once housed a bank and medical clinic. An earlier report said the building would be converted. Adam Hird, managing partner at Highland, told commissioners the facility would be designed to resemble a retail building, generate property-tax revenue and create several construction jobs, the source reported.

The project was supported by some nearby residents and alderman Russell Stamper, who noted the current property is an eyesore. However, Rocky Marcoux, the city’s development commissioner, and other residents strongly oppose the development. They argued the Lisbon Avenue property serves as a gateway to the Uptown Crossing Business Improvement District and believe the site needs a larger retail presence, according to the source.

Opponents have also lobbied to include part of the site in a possible reconfiguration of Lisbon Avenue, which would alleviate traffic problems caused by a neighboring freeway entrance and exit.


11/17/15 – Highland Development Ventures LLC, a New York-based real estate developer and investment company specializing in self-storage and student-housing conversions, will convert a former bank to self-storage in Milwaukee. The $10 million project at 4623 W. Lisbon Ave. will be the company’s third self-storage development in the area, according to the source.

In August, the company announced its intention to develop eight self-storage projects in the metro area valued between $5 million and $8 million each. Conversion of a former warehouse on Capitol Drive as well as the old Northtown Cinema building on 76th Street are currently underway, the source reported.

“Understandably, most people do not understand self-storage has become a growth area on Wall Street and within the institutional investment community,” said Adam Hird, managing partner.

The company has obtained financing for the Milwaukee projects through Santander Bank N.A., a U.S. affiliate of Spain-based Santander Group.

Based in White Plains, N.Y., Highland Development Ventures is a real estate development and investment firm with interests throughout Canada and the United States. Its primary focus is the adaptive reuse of older buildings and small urban sites, specializing in self-storage and student-housing projects, according to the company website.

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