Yearly Archives: 2013

Catching up: Union Corners project slowly moving forward

December 23, 2013 7:30 am  •  DEAN  MOSIMAN | Wisconsin State Journal

If anything defines the much-anticipated redevelopment at Union Corners on  Madison’s East Side, it’s patience. And patience may soon be paying off.

Developer Gorman & Co. signed a purchase and sale agreement with the city  for the site this fall and is close to submitting land use plans for the  long-vacant, city-owned 11.4-acre site at the corner of East Washington Avenue  and Milwaukee Street.

If all approvals and financing are secured, construction on the multiphase  project could begin late next summer, owner Gary Gorman said.

“It’s moving forward. It’s never as fast as we would like,” he said.

“They’re doing a lot of work. There’s just not a lot of this you can see  yet,” City Real Estate Manager  Don Marx said.

In mid-July, after six months of talks, the City Council authorized staff to  negotiate a purchase and sale agreement for an estimated $83.9 million  redevelopment there. The city has already invested about $6 million to buy land,  make public improvements and cover other costs.

On Oct. 30, the sides completed that agreement, under which the city would  sell the site to Gorman for $1, and the developer would apply for $6 million in  tax incremental financing (TIF) support. That would be repaid through new  property taxes generated by the project, which would likely be done in four  phases.

The first phase includes a 60,000-square-foot UW Health clinic with parking,  and the remaining phases are a mix of housing, office, retail space and possibly  a public library branch.

Gorman said he’s about 75 percent done working out the clinic design with UW  Health, has submitted a TIF application with the city, is in discussions with  other potential tenants and will soon submit a general development plan  application, which will trigger a land use review process.

“It’s still a go as far as we’re concerned,” Marx said.

Old Pabst Brewery gets new life as beer lover’s dream hotel

By Nate Kuester, Channel 58, Milwaukee, WI
December 16, 2013

MILWAUKEE — In 1996, the pabst brewing complex shut down. Suddenly ending production of one of the most iconic American beers at the facility. Now a unique hotel experience awaits the beer enthusiast.

“[The hotel is] Housed in the former Pabst brewery building,” said Brewhouse Inn & Suites general manager Peter Northard.

That’s where you’ll find the Brewhouse Inn and Suites, in the heart of Milwaukee. The brewery facility is now home to a truly unique hotel experience that celebrates the beer-crafting history.

“The building was actually built in 1882,” said Northard. “So this operated from 1882 to 1996 as the building in the Pabst complex of Milwaukee, that is actually where they brewed the beer.”

The amount of restoration and work to preserve the original life of the building is obvious from the amazing stained glass window–depicting King Gambrinus, to the brewing equipment still present, to the overall feel right from the moment you walk throught the front door.

“We actually took 1,530 bottles of beer, that our construction crew graciously agreed to empty for us, [and] we cut the bottoms off of them,” said Northard. “And we put those on the fromt of the front desk. So that way, it looks very much like a bar with 1,530 bottoms of beer bottles.”

Elements from the brewery appear even in the most unlikely of places.

“We basically took this old growth lumber, that was used for beams, and we repurposed it to all the kitchen tables in the guest rooms as well as the tables in our Jackson’s Blue Ribbon pub,” said Northard.

Of course, if you’re going to re-purpose the old Pabst brewery, then you have to have your priorities straight as to what you are going to include. And Northard told CBS 58 there wes no question about i where the priority stood.

“A bar was number one,”he said.” “It was essential. It had to be. You cannot reopen the Pabst brewhouse without a bar, serving Pabst Blue Ribbon.”

The work to preserve the former glory of the facilty, in its new incarnation, carries particular appeal for those who knew the brewery in it’s past life. That’s apparent when you visit Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, located in an area that was once referred to as the ‘blue room.’

“We have Pabst workers, former Pabst workers come in here all the time,” said Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub co-owner Mark Zierath. “Actually current workers as well. And they’re all just completely blown away by the space. … It’s great to hear the history of these buildings, and how they once produced the great beer here.”

“To hear the stories that they tell about their times in the brewhouse, and just to see in their eyes how they’re kind of reliving a lot of the past, has just been a really great thing to witness,” said Northard.

“Everyone knew someone who worked at Pabst, or had a relative that worked at Pabst, and that’s the beer I drank when I came of age,” said Zierath.

The unique hotel, owned by Wisconin’s Gorman & Company, Inc., recently won a national ‘Timmy’ award — acknowledging their work for rehabilitating the historic buildings at the pabst complex. you can find out more information about the brewhouse inn & suites here.


Gracie’s Village is Fully-Accessible for the Disabled

TEMPE, AZ (November 27, 2013) – Gorman & Company, in partnership with Grace Community Church of the Valley, is proud to announce the grand opening of an affordable, mixed-use housing development on Apache Blvd along the Valley Metro light rail line, called Gracie’s Village.  

The Gracie’s Village project is a unique public/private/non-profit partnership between Gorman & Company, Grace Community Church of the Valley, the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) and the City of Tempe.  The new development includes a mix of ground floor community facilities including a brand new thrift store and three additional stories containing 50 affordable residential housing units above the store.

Gracie’s Village is solar powered and is designed to a LEED-Gold standard through its use of green building technologies.  Using a variety of Universal Design principles, the affordable rental units are fully accessible to the physically disabled.

The rental units have affordable rents ranging from $394-$606 for 1 Bedroom, $463-$717 for 2 Bedroom and $525-$818 for 3 Bedroom units and will be rented to income-eligible families earning between 40% and 60% of the county median income, or approximately $18,600 to $46,260 per year.

Specific amenities include a multi-purpose room for before and after school care, a Wi-Fi internet lounge, a roof deck, playground, picnic area, front-loading energy-efficient washers & dryers inside each unit, hard-surface flooring and electronically-controlled entry. Gracie’s Village is located at 1520 E. Apache Blvd in Tempe.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting for Gracie’s Village will take place on November 27th with an Open House and Tours to start at 4:30pm. The Ceremony and Dedication will start at 5:30pm. For more information or to attend, please contact Ron Meritt at ON Advertising at (480) 225-0722.

About Gorman & Company, Inc.

Gorman & Company, Inc. specializes in revitalizing communities through innovative housing partnerships. As a trusted partner and respected industry leader since 1984, they specialize in downtown revitalization, the preservation of affordable housing, workforce housing and the adaptive reuse of significant historic buildings.  Learn more at



Escobedo at Verde Vista is Fully Accessible for the Disabled

Mesa, AZ (December 2, 2013) – Gorman & Company, in partnership with Affordable Rental Movement (A.R.M.) of Save the Family Foundation, the West Mesa CDC and the City of Mesa are proud to announce a grand opening for the completely redeveloped Escobedo at Verde Vista Public Housing.

Escobedo at Verde Vista is a state of the art, environmentally friendly, redeveloped housing location designed to a LEED-Gold Standard through its use of building technologies.  Located at 125 E. University Drive in Mesa, Escobedo at Verde Vista will house 70 units along with a leasing office, multi-purpose building for a before and after school program, a computer lab, training center, and a museum dedicated to preserving the rich history of the location.

The units rent for $386-$562 for a 1BR, $460-$630 for a 2BR, and $525-$801 for a 3BR.  Families eligible for this location earn between 40% and 60% of the county median income, which is between $18,600 and $46,260

The amenities include hard surface flooring, dual flush toilets, low flow plumbing fixtures, artificial turf, radiant barrier sheathing and high reflectivity roofing, and high performance Energy Star windows and lighting systems.  The development will also have access to free wireless internet, picnic tables, and a playground.

A ribbon-cutting for Escobedo at Verde Vista will take place on December 4th at 4:00pm followed by a reception at Save the Family at 5:00pm.  For more information or to attend, please contact Ron Meritt at (480) 225-0722.

About Gorman & Company, Inc.

Gorman & Company, Inc. specializes in revitalizing communities through innovative housing partnerships. As a trusted partner and respected industry leader since 1984, they specialize in downtown revitalization, the preservation of affordable housing, workforce housing and the adaptive reuse of significant historic buildings.  Learn more at

Advisory Council Members Recognized for Service

The FHLBC recently recognized three professionals for completing a term of service on the Bank’s Community Investment Advisory Council: James Keledjian, Principal and President, Pathway Senior Living; Mary R. Kenney, Executive Director, Illinois Housing Development Authority; and Gary Gorman, President, Gorman & Company, Inc.

The Advisory Council consists of representatives actively involved in providing or promoting affordable housing, community economic development, and/or community lending in Illinois or Wisconsin. The Council meets quarterly with representatives from the FHLBC’s Board of Directors to advise the Bank on ways in which it can better carry out its housing finance and community investment missions. At its December meeting, the Board will make appointments to the 2014 Advisory Council.

Brewhouse Inn offers outpourings of luxury, history

By Molly Snyder,, December 5, 2013

Perhaps the coolest part of staying at a hotel built inside a former brewery is that it really feels like you’re staying at a hotel built inside a former brewery.

From the moment we walked into the Brewhouse Inn Suites – in the former Pabst brewhouse – we were swept up in brewing history.

At times, it actually felt like we were on a brewery tour instead of an overnight excursion in a brewery hotel. This is, in part, due to the seven brewing kettles which remain in the building and are the heart of the hotel.

Directly over the check-in desk, there’s a kettle doubling as a polished dome in the ceiling and six more kettles stand in the atrium of the hotel.

Even though it has been more than 17 years since beer was actually brewed in the Pabst building – known as building #20 – the kettles give the space a very active, industrial feel, almost as if they might spontaneously fire up at any moment.

The atrium also features a large stained glass window depicting King Gambrinus, the unofficial patron saint of brewing, and an assortment of vintage furniture to pay homage to the brewski king, watch vintage Pabst commercials or just hang out in the history-rich splendor.

The hotel has 90 guest rooms that are either one- or two-bedroom suites. The sixth (top) floor features the Baron suites which have terraces and incredible views.

The rooms run between $189 and $399 per night and are designed for short- or long-term guests with an almost full kitchen stocked with a stovetop, full-sized fridge and an assortment of cooking and eating utensils.

“While the hotel was designed for guests staying longer than five days, it is a great location for girls’ weekends, family gatherings, wedding groups and corporate groups looking for a unique hotel experience that speaks ‘Milwaukee,'” says Sue Kinas of the Brewhouse Inn.

The steampunky decor includes exposed hardware, deep brown tones, distressed furniture and pipes repurposed as towel holders. Plus, the tables and headboards are made from wood originally harvested in Sheboygan in the 1880s.

There are plenty of modern luxuries, too. The bed, for example, was one of the most comfortable we’ve ever slept on and the shower was perfect in pressure and temperature.

Guests are also invited to a continental breakfast in the Blue Room, which was the brewery’s break room that included beer taps. Today, Stone Creek coffee is served instead, but the centerpieces on the table are Pabst bottles used as vases for stalks of wheat.

Quite possibly the Brewhouse’s best feature, however, is the number of windows. Originally constructed in 1882, the brewhouse required more than 300 windows at the time because the city had limited electricity. Today, the plethora of windows provide an incredible amount of natural light in the space and great views of Downtown.

“The Brewhouse is a one-of-a-kind property designed to celebrate the history of Milwaukee’s brewing and reignite the passion of beer and remind everyone about Milwaukee’s roots,” says Kinas.

The Brewhouse Inn & Suites is on the National Registry of Historic Places and part of The Brewery, a sustainable neighborhood that is LEED Platinum certified.

The complex was purchased by Joseph Zilber in 2006. The $20 million construction project began in October 2011 and the hotel opened in late April 2013.

Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub – which was once the milling house known as building #21 – is connected to the hotel and offers a large selection of food items, including an excellent Friday night fish fry.

The space has 30-foot ceilings, a tin ceiling, large screens for game watching and a full bar. (Note the hilarity of the Pabst tapper, which was once a railing spindle and is massive in comparison to the others.)

The other appealing aspect of the Brewhouse is the location. The restored buildings – and those currently under construction – give the gritty, sprawling space a rush of warmth and fresh life. It feels both eerie and abandoned as well as urban and bustling.

Best Place, which once housed Pabst’s offices, is located across the street from the hotel and is well worth a visit for beer drinking and more history. Building owner Jim Haertel gives an extremely entertaining tour.

And if you’re not too Pabst-ed out, the Pabst Mansion – the 1892 home of Capt. Pabst – is just a mile away.

History buffs and beer geeks will most appreciate the experience because of their ability to access so much of Milwaukee’s brewing history. The many artifacts and literature to examine make the hotel part museum.

“Guests interested in history, beer and an environment where they will be treated with customer service otherwise long gone will find The Brewhouse a delight,” says Kinas.

Four-story apartment project planned near downtown Waukesha

By:  Sean Ryan, Milwaukee Business Journal, December 4, 2013

Gorman & Company, Inc. is proposing a four-story building with 56 apartments, most of which would be affordable, on East Main Street in Waukesha where city officials are encouraging redevelopment.

The project is planned for a vacant, 2.3-acre site north of Main Street and west of the railroad tracks in a former railroad right-of-way. The project would have 14 market-rate units, 14 units with services to support veterans, and affordable apartments, said Ted Matkom, Wisconsin market president for Gorman, of Oregon, Wis.

“We have always been looking for the perfect site in downtown Waukesha and this was available through a broker,” Matkom said. “Several people referred us to this site because it was challenging.”

Gorman in early 2014 will apply for about $850,000 in affordable housing tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority for the roughly $10 million project, Matkom said. If awarded the credits, the project could start construction in about a year for a 2015 opening, he said.

The area, east of Waukesha’s downtown, has older houses and vacant properties that city officials would like to see redeveloped, said Jeff Fortin, Waukesha community development specialist.

Waukesha’s Plan Commission will review Gorman’s project plan Dec. 11.

Escobedo at Verde Vista opens in Mesa

East Valley Tribune, Thursday, December 5, 2013

The City of Mesa held a grand opening event on Dec. 4 for a new mixed-use development that will provide housing for low- to moderate-income families.

The Escobedo at Verde Vista features 70 energy efficient rental units accessible to people with physical disabilities. A few amenities include a business center, clubhouse, state-of-the-art fitness center and a picnic area. Escobedo at Verde Vista will also house the new headquarters for Save the Family Foundation of Arizona; an organization that helps homeless families become self sufficient.

The development was built on the site of a facility that was vacated in 2007, and a few units from the original version were not demolished. The four “legacy” units include a leasing office, a multi-purpose building for a before-and-after school program, a computer lab and training center, a theatre and fitness center, and a museum.

Financing for Escobedo at Verde Vista came from private equity via the sale of federal tax credits. The development was constructed by the City of Mesa, Gorman & Company, Affordable Rental Movement and the West Mesa Community Development Corporation.

“We are happy to see quality private investments like Escobedo at Verde Vista coming to the City,” Mayor Scott Smith said in a statement. “It shows people have decided that Downtown Mesa is a great place to invest.”

Chris Glover

Mesa City Councilmember Chris Glover speaks at the opening of Escobedo at Verde Vista on Dec. 4, 2013. [Courtesy City of Mesa]


Low-cost housing center Escobedo to open in Mesa

The Arizona Republic , November 29, 2013

A new era in low-cost housing dawns in Mesa when Escobedo at Verde Vista, 125 E. University Drive, hosts its grand opening 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The ceremony will mark completion of the first phase of the development, which is replacing the abandoned World War II-era Escobedo Apartments with modern, rent-subidized units.

It was among three tax-credit-financed housing projects approved last year by the City Council and the Arizona state housing department. The others are a senior complex on First Avenue and apartments at the La Mesita Family Shelter on West Main Street.

Escobedo is a project of Save the Family Foundation and several partner organizations.

Solar-powered units, by Catherine Reagor, Arizona Republic, December 1, 2013

A housing development in Tempe called Gracie’s Village opened last week. The project, on Apache boulevard, along the Valley Metro light-rail line, has 50 affordable housing units above a thrift store.

All are solar-powered.

Developer Gorman & Co. worked with Grace Community Church of the Valley and the Arizona Housing Department to develop the three-story project.

Rental rates start at $394 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. Families earning $18,600 to $46,260 a year can rent at Gracie’s Village, which also has two-and three-bedroom apartments.

The development has a multipurpose room for before and after school care, a Wi-Fi Internet lounge, a roof deck, playground, picnic area, frontloading energy-efficient washer and dryers inside each unit, hard-surface flooring and electronically controlled entry.