Madison developer Alexander Co. Inc. is taking over the $43 million restoration of a complex of historic buildings near downtown Milwaukee, and plans to create 132 apartments and office space.

The project will renovate an 1890’s complex of connected buildings at 100 E. Pleasant St. called the Milwaukee Fortress. Ambassador Hotel owner Rick Wiegand co-owns the large, six-story building and last year announced plans to restore them into apartments.

Wiegand now has an agreement to sell the property in January to Alexander Co. The developer would begin construction work that month and intends to open the apartments to tenants in March or April of 2018, said Adam Winkler, Alexander Co. development project manager.

The project also will create 25,000 feet of commercial space in the building’s first two floors facing East Pleasant Street that likely will be offices.

The Fortress will get a full historic restoration, Winkler said. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. It formerly was a factory for the F. Mayer Boot and Shoe Co. Alexander Co. also will restore buildings in the historic Milwaukee Soldiers Home into housing for homeless veterans.

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This article was first published in the Milwaukee Business Journal.