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  #201  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2004, 5:08 AM
Markitect Markitect is offline
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The East Side neigborhood centered around Prospect, Farwell, and North Avenues continues to attract attention of developers and invetsors.

Developer Boris Gokhman, of New Land Enterprises, will be purchasing the Oriental Theater (art house movie theater), Landmark Lanes (bowling alley/game room/bar), and a few other retail storefronts along N. Farwell Avenue. Also included is a surface parking lot a block away on E. Kenilworth Place.

Furthermore, one of Gokhman's partners owns a pair of duplexes immediately adjacent to the parking lot, on the corner of Kenilworth and Farwell. It is speculated that the duplexes could be razed and the land combined with the parking lot next door--thus creating a larger site on which a new development could be constructed. Gorkhman has made a name for himself in Milwaukee for buying up surface parking lots and uinderutilized parcels and building wildly successful mixed-use rental/condo units on them.

In years past, Gokhman has also redeveloped the Oriental Drug Store building just up the street from the Oriental Theater.

Check out the Journal Sentinel article for more details: Parking lot may become housing, retail project - Development of parcel is called key allure of Oriental Theatre deal


On the other side of the block, another group of investors, REvest Partners, will be purchasing Prospect Mall and a parking lot across the street. The mall (which isn't really much of a mall anyway at 42,000 square feet) currently contains a 3-screen Marcus Theater , a tattoo/body piercing shop, a used book/music store, and three bars/restaurants. Developers do not have any concrete plans for redevelopment, and may simply focus on making it a more meaningful piece of real estate along N. Prospect Avenue.

Also in the works for the neighborhood is the new Columbia/St. Mary's Hospital along North Avenue and the possible redevelopment of the Kenilworth Building, owned by UWM.

Check it out: Investors see potential in Prospect Mall purchase
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  #202  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2004, 6:53 PM
UglymanCometh UglymanCometh is offline
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okay, so now Milwaukee is leaving Detroit in the dust.

Brew-Town has realized that...

Our Time is Now

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  #203  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2004, 5:20 AM
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Our time is now, indeed, SubCalc...

A new neighbohrood will soon be rising from the ground up, right in the heart of the central city. Developers have announced plans for Josey Heights--a neighbohrood of 37 single-family homes and 16 townhouse condominiums to be built on a site just northerst of Downtown (bordered by W. Lloyd, W. Brown, N. 12th and N. 14th Streets). Houses that once existed on those blocks were razed over 35 years ago to make way for a freeway that was never built; the land has remained relatively underutilized as a playfield ever since.

Furthermore, developers plan to build the neighbohrood without the aid of public grants and subsidies. The homes will be marketed toward middle-class buyers, and will range from $175,000 to $225,000. Developers are hoping to build off the momentum from other housing developments in once-distressed neighbohroods nearby that have been successful at attracting a range of income levels.

See the Journal Sentinel article for more information: Group plans to build 53 homes for downtown professionals - Josey Heights houses would be just a mile from city's center
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  #204  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2004, 6:06 AM
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Hm...middle class housing developments...interesting. It'll be really interesting to see what this looks like. God forbid we have Brookfield-In-Milwaukee. That would be gross. As for the Oriental block, I read that very article today in the Union while I was eating breakfast. I'm just worried that they'll close down the theater. I skimmed the article, so I may have missed it, but are there any plans to change its use?
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  #205  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2004, 6:19 AM
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As for getting a "Brookfield-in-Milwaukee," you needn't worry. Judging on what I've seen from some of the partners involved (previous developments from them), these will be consistent with urban housing found in the city...these aren't going to be ranch houses with a garage door for a front facade or anything like that (I don't think that's even permitted in the zoning anyway). No, this will definitely be urban in nature.
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  #206  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2004, 9:56 PM
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Preliminary/schematic design renderings for the Downtown Sheraton hotel proposal are critiqued in today's Journal Sentinel. So far, the design leaves much to be desired for such a highly visible site along W. Wisconsin Avenue, across the street from the convention center. Though, the rendering is more of a very "rough draft" than anything close to being considered the final design, accoridng to architects at Engberg Anderson Design Partnership.

Some pluses of the design include putting parking behind the building, rather than out in front; and special attention to the street level, with mixed-uses (cafe/restaurant) and large, glassy windows instread of blank walls. Though the overall composition of the design seems to be rather anonymous-looking.

It definitely will take some coaxing to get the Sheraton hotel chain to stray from its lackluster design format. With help from the project architects/developers, as well as the Department of City Development, the developers, and even soon-to-be-Mayor Barrett could convince the Sheraton owners to think a little more out-of-the-box.

Since this is still very early on in the design process, there may be room for some design leeway.

See the article for the full critique: Downtown hotel developers could be squandering a chance to shine

This is a preliminary rendering of the current Sheraton proposal, looking at the corner of N. 4th Street and W. Wisconsin Avenue.


Here is a rendering of the previous Embassy Suites proposal (from 1999, which subsequently fell through), looking along the N. 5th Street facade.
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  #207  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2004, 3:16 PM
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Quote:
A bit boring IMHO.
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  #208  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2004, 3:07 AM
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Yeah that is an ugly building.
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  #209  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2004, 5:25 PM
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Remember, they haven't even really started designing the building yet. This is just a very early, basic concept, which doesn't even have to be used in the final design.
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  #210  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2004, 7:26 PM
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After nearly a year of negotiating and environmental clean-up efforts, work on the Historic Teweles Seed Tower has finally begun. The former 12-story warehouse, with its distinctive exposed concrete frame, is located in Walker's Point on S. 3rd Street. It will be converted into 115 apartment units; a two-stoy penthouse addition will be built on the roof.

Developers have laid out a variety of units (studios, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms) to target residnets with a variety of incomes. Through the use of affordable housing tax credits, many of the units will be made avaialble at below market rate rents for lower-income residents, while other units will be available at regular market rates--thereby creating a mixed-income development.

Parking will be mostly contained in the basemet and first two floors (100 spaces), plus a few outdoor spots (18 spaces). The project will also include a computer lab, community room, exercise room, and theater for residnets.

Teweles Seed Tower is the latest in a series of warehouse-to-residnetial conversions completed, in progress, or proposed in Walker's Point--spillover from similar projects across the river in the Third Ward.

Check out the Business Journal article for more (scroll all the way down, it's a two-pager): Teweles Seed project finally starts to grow - Developers start conversion into apartment complex

The Teweles Seed Building was built in 1918. It has a 12-story tower, plus a 7-story wing attached.


A rendering of the Historic Teweles Seed Tower, showing the residnetial conversion.
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  #211  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2004, 10:37 PM
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wow, i'm glad that the Teweles building is finally getting underway, i've been waiting for awhile now. Can't wait to see the final product. Also, the 99 proposal of the embassy suites i like too. Wouldn't seeing that going up.
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  #212  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2004, 2:58 PM
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Nice.
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  #213  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2004, 3:52 AM
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Thanks to the help of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan (Janesville), the Milwaukee Public Market has received a long-awaited $2.5 million federal grant. With funding falling into place, the market will likely break ground this June and be completed by June 2005.

The site is located in the Third Ward, along E. St. Paul Avenue between N. Water Street and N. Broadway. The market will feature stalls for local farmers and retailers selling fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, cheese, flowers, among other items.

See the Journal Sentinel article for more: Third Ward market gets key funding - Grant may enable project to break ground in June

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  #214  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2004, 3:14 AM
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I just browsed this thread for the first time in a while, and I must say I'm quite impressed. It almost makes me want to move back.



Almost.
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  #215  
Old Posted May 13, 2004, 6:14 AM
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A lot's been going on the past few days...

Wisconsin is expected to receive $150 million worth of federal tax credits, which will be used to help developers finance projects in low-income areas across the state. Cities in southeastern Wisconsin would likely receive a bulk of the credits, as that's where many of the poorest areas are located. Credits targeted for Milwaukee could likely go toward several major sites (Park East corridor, PabstCity, the Menomonee Valley, the Tower Automotive complex) and/or other smaller neighborhood projects.

See the Journal Sentinel article for more: State gets $150 million aimed at development in poor areas

***

Mayor Barrett officially proposed to consolidate and relocated some Department of Public Works facilities to the underutilized Tower Automotive factory complex--an idea he often mentioned during his recent campaign. The plan calls for relocating DPW's Traser Yards facility that now stands at 6th and West Canal Streets in the Menomonee Valley to make way for the proposed Harley-Davidson motorcycle museum/office complex. Also included in the site-consolidation are two Water Works facilities.

The Tower Automotive site (formerly A.O. Smith) is located on the Northwest Side, bounded by W. Capitol Drive, N. 35th, N. Hopkins, and W. Townsend Streets. Tower Automotive's operations have downsized significanly over the past few years, as the company has disconsinued or shifted production to other places (earlier this year the compnay announced it was shifting one of its last production lines to Mexico), thus most of the factory complex is sitting underutilized. Relocating some DPW facilties there would bring jobs and much-needed commerce to the depressed neighborhood, and would likely be a catalyst for new development in the area.

The Common Council is discussing the idea.

Here's an article from the Journal Sentinel: Tower site proposal would cost $24 million - Mayor seeks to move city employees to complex

And another from the Business Journal: Barrett proposes moving Traser Yards to Tower site

***

In other news, Mayor Barrett will hold off looking into a Downtown casino--at least for the time being. Several months ago a group of politicians and business groups proposed moving the Potawotomi Bingo Casino out of the Menomonee Valley and into a site Downtown, in the Park East corridor. The Potowatomi tribe, however, was not involved with the proposal. Acting-Mayor Pratt and County Executive Scott Walker created a task force in late-March to study the feasability of the idea, which was expected to reveal its findings on May 15--but the task force has never met.

To further complicate matters, there are two active court cases challenging expanded state-tribal gaming compacts that regulate the casinos. The state Court of Appeals is expected to give its rulings on the cases this summer.

Mayor Barrett supports the idea of studying the feasability of a casino relocation, but feels it would make more sense to actually have the Potawatomi tribe involved with the relocation study (nobody's really ever asked them, it's just been non-tribal people making suggestions) and also after the court has made a ruling on the future of tirbal casinos.

Check out the Journal Sentinel article for specifics: Barrett puts downtown casino on back burner - Park East, other issues will take precedence

***

Coincidentally, the Potawatomi tribe has just announced a $240 million expansion plan for its Milwaukee casino. The tribe will begin preliminary design work, but will hold off on construction pending the aforementioned court rulings due this summer. This will allow the tribe to get a "head start" on the expansion, should the rulings come out in their favor.

In the meantime, the tribe will be doing some minor construction work to support its current operations in the Menonomee Valley--in the form of a parking garage addition.

Read it in the Business Journal (scroll down, two-pager): Potawatomi tribe announces $240 million casino plan

***

And still in other news, Mayor Barrett has appointed a top position in the Department of City Development--Bob Greenstreet has been selected to become City Architect/Planner. Greenstreet is currently dean at the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and welcomes the challenge of taking on both jobs simultaneously. He's no stranger to such arrangements either (he's been dean for SARUP, acting-dean for the art school, and chairman of the City Plan Commission--all simultaneously; he's also been dean for SARUP, interim-chancellor for UWM, and chairman of the City Plan Commission--all simultaneously; and also had a lighter work load as dean for SARUP and chairman for the City Plan Commission--both simultaneoulsy...plus teaching, or at least guest-lecturing, plus being a family-man, etc). Under the new arrangement, however, he will have to step down as chairman for the City Plan Commission.

The details still have to be worked out, as far as exactly what kind of services Greenstreet will have to perform, and how the interaction between his jobs will work. They may try an arrangement where the City contracts with UWM for Greenstreet's services as architect/planner for Milwaukee--which may be the first arrangemetn of its kind, ever, anywhere.

The connection between the City and SARUP is already pretty strong. A few years ago former-Mayor Norquist taught an introductory urban planning class for a couple semesters. Former- Director of DCD Peter Park also taught several classes and studios over the past few years (he was whisked away to a top planning job in Devener a few months ago--Greenstreet will be his replacement at DCD). The school has been a "testing ground" of sorts for many projects throughout the city that have become a reality, or will become a reality (East Pointe Commons, the Park East Freeway redevelopment, the Milwaukee Public Market, the RiverWalk, to name a few).

Once the legal deatils are figured out, the appointment must be approved by the Common Council, perhaps by the end of the month.

Have a look through the Journal Sentinel article and get to know Dean Greenstreet: Barrett picks UWM's Greenstreet as city's architect - Town-gown partnership would share dean's services
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  #216  
Old Posted May 13, 2004, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markitect
The connection between the City and SARUP is already pretty strong. A few years ago former-Mayor Norquist taught an introductory urban planning class for a couple semesters. Former- Director of DCD Peter Park also taught several classes and studios over the past few years...

Yep, I sat in on those lectures.
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  #217  
Old Posted May 18, 2004, 9:03 PM
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According to a report released by the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau, developing some of the surface parking lots at Miller Park could be a good way for the Brewers to increase revenue and attract possible buyers for the team, which is currently up for sale. Suggested uses include restaurants/bars, retail stores, hotels, and parking garages to replace the displaced parking spaces.

The land upon which the stadium and parking lots sit is owned by the State, which in turn is leased to an entity known as the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, which in turn is leased to the Brewers. Under the commercial development plan, the Brewers would receive the proceeds from the land that is subleased to developers and/or tenants.

Read more about it in the Business Journal (three-pages): Field of development?: Development in stadium lots would benefit Brewers

The Brewers should definitiely consider this option, not only for their own benefit, but for taking a more responsible approach to how their stadium and surrounding property can be developed to benefit the City as well. It makes sense to develop the parking lot areas that are close to the stadium with these complimentary uses, rather than building a retail/restaurant/shopping mall project way over on the adjacent non-stadium land on the extreme far side of the parking lots, like was proposed in various incarnations several years back (on the former Milwaukee Road Shops/Rail Yard land--where planning is well underway to redevelop for an urban industrial/office/recreational park).

***

Trader Joe's, a discount/gourmet grocery store is looking for sites in Milwaukee and Madison to build a few stores.

Also from the Business Journal: Trader Joe's seeks grocery sites in Milwaukee

***

Alderman Michael D'Amato has been appointed the new chairman for the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee, which oversees how architects, developers, planners, builders, organizations, and residents shape the city. One of the committee's biggest jobs is reviewing development proposals.

Some of the major issues D'Amato will be dealing with include the heavily-debated community benefits agreements proposed to be attached to developments in the Park East corridor (he supports the prevailing wages clause, but not the afforable housing mandate); the controversial Harley-Davidon Museum proposal (he feels there are site design issues that do not promote the highest and best use for the location); and the Granville Station/former Northridge Mall redevelopment (emphasising a need to focus attention on areas other than just Downtown and near-Downtown neighborhoods).

The Business Journal has a profile and interview wih D'Amato, outlining some of the goals he hopes to accomplish (three-pages): Norquist protťgť takes helm of development panel - D'Amato chairs powerful committee facing Harley, Park East issues

***

Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Scott Walker will be attending the annual International Council of Shopping Centers convention to promote the Milwaukee area to national/international retailers.

More details in the Business Journal (two-pager): Barrett, Walker shop local sites to dealmakers

***

Trouble is brewing at PabstCity. Local investor/developer James Haertel has filed a lawsuit against his much larger partners, Milwaukee-based Wispark and the Cleveland-based Ferchill Group, on the basis that he has not received the ownership titles to the three buildings he was to receive under their partnetship agreement.

Under the agreement, Haertel was to receive three small buildings on the 22-acre site--the Pabst office building, gift shop, and Blue Ribbon Hall. He has plans to redevelop them into a museum of beer and brewing, a beer bed and breakfast, a Hofbrauhaus restaurant/pub, and offices. He and his crew had even uncovered old Pabst artifacts (paperwork, photos, 1940s radio show/commerical recordings, etc.) while cleaning out the old buildings. In the meantime, according to the breach-of-contract lawsuit Haertel filed, Wispark and Ferchill provided him with a set of development restrictions for the three buildings, which essentially gave them control over how they were to be redeveloped.

Negotiations between the three developers to settle the dispute during the past year have failed, which now places the entire redevelopment project in jeapordy.

See the Journal Sentinel for more: Lawsuit filed against PabstCity developers - Investor says he was pushed out of partnership plan

***

Alderman D'Amato and the aforementioned Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee have concerns about Harley-Davisdon's proposed motorcycle museum at 6th and W. Canal Streets. The committee has taken issue with the large surface parking lots proposed right at the intersection and the closing of Canal Street east of 6th.

The City's Menomonee Valley redevelopment plan, released back in 1999, calls for the intersection of 6th and Canal to be a gateway into the Valley, and encourages all four corners to be built-up in some form, not reserved for parking lots. Harley's proposal shows surface lots on two of the four courners. Certain Common Council members would like to have the site plan reconfigured/reduced to avoid having surface lots on the high-visibility corner. Harley contends the lots would also be used for staging outdoor events, so they are of benefit to the public.

The City's redevelopment plan also calls for linking the eastern end of the Valley with the Walker's Point neighborhood in the future, with a bridge on Canal Street across the South Menomonee Canal. Harley's proposal actually calls for turning Canal Street east of 6th into a private street running through the museum/office complex, thus preventing a bridge linkage from ever occurring.

The Journal Sentinel has more: Harley still can't get museum into gear - With aldermen pursuing amendments, review by zoning panel postponed
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  #218  
Old Posted May 18, 2004, 10:29 PM
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Harley does nothing but fuck shit up. First, booking Elton John for their festival headliner last summer, and now this. I'm buying a Japanese crotch-rocket in protest.
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  #219  
Old Posted May 26, 2004, 4:40 AM
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The Common Council took action on two measures this Tuesday that shifts the proposed Harley-Davidson museum into a higher gear:

- The Council approved to spend $24 million to relocate the DPW's Traser Yards facility to a site within the Tower Automotive complex (along with two Water Works facilities). This move will open up the Traser Yards site for the proposed Harley museum at 6th and Canal Streets.

- The Council also approved selling the Traser Yards land, plus some other City-owned land across the street, to Harley-Davisdon (about 20 acres total, on all four corners of 6th and Canal Streets). The City will also provide about $7 million of tax incremental financing to help cover the cost of public improvements/infrastructure on the site.

Still, there are major concerns with the proposed site design (parking lots on all four corners, street access, zoning issues), which will need Council approval in the coming months. Resolving these urban design issues will be a key challenge for Harley, the Council, and the Department of City Development.

There are also still concerns about solidifying Harley's full dedication to the project, which is ultimately planned to include not just a museum, but office space as well.

As things stand now, the DPW is anticipated to be moved off-site by 2006; the museum is expected to be completed in 2008.

Check out the Journal Sentinel article for specifics: Harley museum is approved for Menomonee Valley

Last edited by Markitect; May 26, 2004 at 4:45 AM.
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  #220  
Old Posted May 26, 2004, 5:25 AM
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I hate D'Amato.
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