LISC National

LISC Invests $2 Million in Historic Mackie Building


LISC recently completed one of its largest Milwaukee investments with a bridge loan to J. Jeffers & Co. for the redevelopment of the Historic Mackie Building located at 225 East Michigan Street. The project fulfilled a number of LISC’s mission-based criteria, which included minority business participation on the construction, securing downtown workforce housing and local job creation/retention.

The building's improvements included foundation work, historic repair of approximately 28,000 gross square feet of ground level retail, office, hospitality/ballroom, and full gut rehab of the three subsequent vacant floors into 25 multifamily units. The completed building also had exterior façade work and completely restored clock tower.

Few multifamily properties in the Milwaukee market offer the unique historic value and qualities of the Mackie Building. This project is a great way for LISC to support quality multi-family housing close to jobs in an area where real estate and rental rates are skyrocketing. Donsia Strong Hill, Executive Director, LISC Milwaukee.

Constructed in 1879 by Alexander Mitchell, the Mackie Building remains one of the most iconic historic and architectural landmarks in the state of Wisconsin. Originally known as the Chamber of Commerce Building, the Mackie was built by one of Milwaukee's founding fathers, Alexander Mitchell, in 1880. Designed by Edward Townsend Mix, the building housed Milwaukee's Grain Exchange, a 3-story, 10,000 SF trading room for Milwaukee's world-leading wheat export industry. ln 1934, the Chamber of Commerce left the building and it was renamed the Mackie Building, after Mitchell's nephew. Today, the Grain Exchange Room is used for over 200 events a year and the upper floors of the Mackie have most recently been used as office space.

J. Jeffers & Co. is a real estate development and investment firm dedicated to economic development and revitalization in Southeastern Wisconsin. J. Jeffers & Co. has developed projects including multifamily (affordable and market-rate), retail, and assisted living sectors. this includes experience with new construction, historic and non-historic rehabilitation, and adaptive re-use.