The Alexander Co., which was picked to redevelop six historic buildings on the Milwaukee Soldiers Home campus, has known about the site for a decade and been involved with preservation talks there for years.
The Madison developer, in a $40 million project, will restore six buildings on the Civil War-era Milwaukee property into an estimated 100 housing units for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The Alexander Co. in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee was selected in July to restore the Soldiers Home buildings.
Alexander Co. has done other major restorations of other historic properties that, like the Soldiers Home, are overseen by federal agencies. That includes an estimated $110 million restoration of the National Park Seminary in Silver Spring, Md., into housing, said project manager Jonathan Beck of The Alexander Co..
After the Soldiers Home in Milwaukee was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, Beck joined a group of local stakeholders aiming to preserve buildings at Soldiers Home.
“The company had experience to work with the government and work on these large-scale developments,” Beck said. “This is something in our back yard, and not on the East Coast.”
Alexander Co. was among 10 companies that responded to a 2014 request by the Department of Veterans Affairs for developers that are interested in restoring Soldiers Home buildings, Beck said.
Alexander Co. isn’t the only stakeholder that has been working on the Soldiers Home for about a decade. Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore’s office tuned into the property about 10 years ago as well, after veterans opposed an idea floated to redevelop Soldiers Home for commercial uses.