“Ivy on Fourteenth” construction on schedule despite setbacks


The Opus Group expects to complete construction for its apartment project on 14th and Wells Street, “Ivy on Fourteenth,” and be open for occupants next fall, despite losing a few days of construction because of weather, soil issues and telephone pole removal.

The construction team completed the foundation process and began putting together the pre-cast and exterior shape of the building during the month-long winter break.

“Over the next couple of months the building’s shell will take shape,” said Julie Ledger, the vice president and general manager of the Opus office in Milwaukee. “The wood framing will come right after the pre-cast and that will start to create the six-story structure.”

Although the slight delays were not optimal, Ledger said these snags were expected in the early processes of construction and said there were extra days built into the schedule.

“It’s a construction project; nothing ever goes strictly as planned,” Ledger said. “We’ve had our challenges, like any construction project does. The telephone poles were a part of that and the soils were not as good as we expected them to be, but all of that is a very typical part of a building, especially on campus.”

Deny Gallagher, a sophomore in the College of Communication, already signed his lease to live in the apartment structure next fall, and he said he is not too concerned about the building being ready.

“I’ve heard they’re progressing along and they’re expecting to be ready by May,” Gallagher said. “They haven’t been talking too much about the progress of the building, but when you walk by the building, you say ‘I guess they’re making progress.'”

Gallagher said he turned in his security deposit and is optimistic that the building will be done based off of Opus’s history, which includes 13 other campus building endeavors.

“A lot of people have come in with doubts, but they keep saying it will be done,” he said. “The company that’s building it has a pretty good track record of staying on course with projects.”

Ledger said Opus doesn’t have a protocol of informing future residents of the building’s progress, but instead, uses social media to keep them updated.

“We don’t have a specific process of emailing them an update every month,” Ledger said. “Social media is probably the biggest way we’ve been communicating with the current lease owners.”

As for those lease owners, Ledger said if something unexpected came along and delayed the opening of the apartment building, there is a back-up plan if necessary. She did not discuss details about the alternate options, but she did reiterate her belief that the building will be ready on time.

“It will open on time,” Ledger said. “It won’t be the first building at Marquette that we won’t open on time. We’ve never missed a schedule and this won’t be the first one.”

Opus is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and also built student-housing complexes at the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin-Madison. The Ivy on Fourteenth building will consist of 80 total units, 165 beds, in-unit washing and drying machines, a fitness center and an indoor parking lot.