Beer bottling factory, empty for 20 years, will soon be full of Milwaukee students

One of the larger buildings on downtown Milwaukee‘s west side — dormant for nearly 20 years — will house hundreds of college students, as well as a food court and other new commercial space, when it reopens in August.

Pabst Brewing Co.‘s former bottling house, which fills roughly three-fourths of a city block, is being converted into Eleven25 at Pabst, a student apartment development.

The renovated 250,000-square-foot building will have 151 apartments on three floors, with enough beds to house more than 400 students, said Michael Kelly , vice president of Blue Ribbon Management LLC , which is developing the property.

The $43 million project also will feature a 4,000-square-foot food court with up to five restaurants, a 2,000-square-foot convenience store and a 1,500-square-foot coffee shop. All will be open to the public, with the student living areas kept secure with key card access and on-site management.

Eleven25 is being financed mainly with cash raised through the federal government’s EB-5 program. That allows foreign citizens to secure U.S. residency privileges in return for investing in job-creating developments.

Additional financing includes a Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. grant for environmental cleanup work, and a Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District grant for improvements that reduce storm-water runoff.

Photo credit: Eleven25 At Pabst

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