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The former McKinley School, sold by MPS in the early '80s to a private operator, is the site of a plan for new apartments and townhouses.

City advances Gorman proposal for apartments at former McKinley School

After years of neglect, the former McKinley School, 2001 W. Vliet St., is finally getting some good attention. In 2017, Gorman & Co. visited the old school and expressed interest in converting this 19th century schoolhouse – sold by MPS in the early 1980s and then used primarily as a day care center – into housing.

The building – the survival of which was in doubt after a 2013 fire – is unique among MPS buildings in style and architect; it is the only one known to have been designed by Fred Seyring. It received historic designation from the city in 2014.

A third neighborhood meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss Gorman's plans for the building.

Today, Dave Misky of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee told me that the plan is progressing.

"The City is moving Gorman proposal forward," Misky said. "They will restore school for 35 affordable units and build eight market-rate townhomes along Vliet Street. The neighborhood meeting was fairly positive to move it forward."

According to Misky, the City Plan Commission will hear project at its Nov. 12 meeting and the Common Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee will take it up on Nov. 20.

Last week, when Gorman's Ted Matkom toured me around its impressive redevelopment of the former Fifth Street School, he said that some of the McKinley units, like those at Fifth Street, would likely be reserved for veterans housing, and that – again, like Fifth Street – the developer hopes to use historic tax credits to help finance the project.

In 2012, Gorman also redeveloped the former Peckham Junior High/Jackie Robinson Middle School building into apartments that were completely leased by the time the doors were opened.

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