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The delayed Couture apartment high-rise is to be built on a vacant site at East Michigan Street and Lincoln Memorial Drive. (Photo: Mike De Sisti and Jim Nelson / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The long-delayed Couture apartment high-rise has received its final financing approval, setting the stage for a construction start at its downtown Milwaukee site overlooking Lake Michigan.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a “firm commitment” to insure a $103.5 million loan to build the Couture.

That’s according to an email sent Monday to the Journal Sentinel by Gina Rodriguez, a public affairs specialist at HUD’s regional office in Chicago.

That loan guarantee is a key part of the project’s financing.

Combined with equity financing raised from investors, the project can now proceed.

Construction is expected to begin in January, according to developer Richard Barrett, who operates Barrett Lo Visionary Development LLC.