The Alexander Company is nearing completion on the redevelopment of the massive F. Mayer Boot and Shoe Co. Building at 100 E. Pleasant St. into a 132-unit apartment building known as Milwaukee Fortress.
The firm acquired the 193,000-square-foot building in 2016 from developer Rick Wiegand, advancing Wiegand’s plans for the conversion of the former factory into apartments. Alexander, which does its own architecture work, hired J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc. to lead the $51 million project’s general contracting and in 2017 set out to transform the building.
The building, which is really a series of buildings built from 1892 until 1912, is expected to welcome its first residents in January. Alexander led a media tour of the facility Wednesday, showing off substantial progress since a late March tour.
What at the time was an early stage project with missing windows, barebones framing and workers around every corner, now is a much calmer environment with model units and final work underway on the project’s first phase. While the new units have modern finishes and amenities, a substantial amount of exposed brick is found throughout hinting at the building’s past. The complex was used for shoe manufacturing until 1938, with thousands of pairs per day being produced at its peak.
A three-level, two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse in the building’s tower is taking shape. The three-level space, which is available for $3,700 per month, will be one of the most unique apartments in the city and comes with incredible skyline views.