After a pair of public meetings about a plan to create housing for teachers at the former Dover Street School, 619 E. Dover St., in Bay View, led by Milwaukee Board of School Directors’ Meagan Holman, the school board will take up an administration recommendation at Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. meeting to move forward with the plan and sell the building.
If approved, the former school would be sold for $350,000 to Dover, LLC, a new company to be formed by St. Paul, Minn.-based nonprofit affordable housing provider CommonBond Communities, Inc.; Maures Development, LLC – a Milwaukee minority- and woman-owned real estate firm that specializes in affordable housing; and Baltimore-based Seawall Company.
According to board documents the sale price of $5.25 per square foot is comparable to the sale price of the former Jackie Robinson Middle School.
The Dover building was constructed in 1899 with an 1893 addition and closed a couple years ago when the program moved to the former Fritsche Middle School building nearby at 2969 S. Howell Ave. A 1910 fire heavily altered the appearance of the now-flat-roofed building, which originally had Queen Anne and a gabled roof.
Dover, LLC would renovate the existing building and add three more buildings to create 110 apartments that would be marketed to young teachers. The district expects what it calls a significant number of teachers in the coming years and has modeled the development on similar ones developed by Seawall in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
The campus would offer amenities that would be aimed at creating opportunities for collaboration and interaction among teachers and would provide space to educational organizations like Teach for America, MPS and the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Teachtown, which seeks to recruit teachers to Milwaukee and help ease their transition to the city.
The project also includes plans for rain gardens, vegetable gardens, an events lawn and green space, parking and a playground that could be shared by neighboring St. Lucas School and Bay View residents.
St. Lucas, which already shares parking and playground space at Dover Street had expressed interest in purchasing the property.
Plans a couple years ago for a neighborhood arts center called The Hive in the Dover Street building were dead-ended by a lack of funding.
The plan follows on the heels of the successful conversion of the former Jackie Robinson Middle School/Peckham Junior High to senior housing and proposals to create residential projects at the former Malcolm X Academy/Fulton Middle School and at the former Isaac Coggs/5th Street School.
Another Bay View school, Mound Street School, was closed in 1979 and sold to a developer, who converted the building to senior housing.