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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2003, 7:13 AM
Markitect Markitect is offline
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Cool MILWAUKEE | Development News

Some more great news for Downtown Milwaukee was announced in today's Journal Sentinel. Bank One is relocating its suburban Menomonee Falls back office operations, which consists of 750 people, to its Downtown Milwaukee headquarters in Bank One Plaza at the southwest corner of E. Wisconsin Avenue and N. Water Street. The move will more than double the current number of Bank One employees in the building once renovations are made and the move is complete early next year. Incoming employees will be filling up space in Bank One Plaza that will be vacated when the Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek law firm moves into its new offices in Cathedral Place early next year.

Such a move is significant, especially since this is the second company this year to announce relocating operations from suburban Waukesha County to Downtown Milwaukee. Of course, Roundys, Inc. committed earlier this year to consolidate and relocate its operations from suburban Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties to the soon-to-be-completed 875 East [Wisconsin Avenue] office building.

Read the article for more details: Bank One moving 750 suburban workers downtown


An article from yesterday's Journal Sentinel describes another new business venture just across the river and over one block. A new Irish pub and restaurant is moving into a prominent building on the northwest corner of W. Wisconsin and N. Plankinton Avenues. Mo's Irish Pub is filling space vacated by St. Francis Bank, which relocated into the Shops of Grand Avenue (also currently under renovation) across the street earlier this year. This is the lastes in a series of Mo's restaurants/shops--all of which are located within a few hundered feet of each other (restaurant Mo's: A Place for Steaks, 720 N. Plankinton Ave., which opened in 1999, and deli/wine shop Mo's Market: A Place for Wine, 717 N. Plankinton Ave., which opened in 2001).

The article also briefly touches on some of the other revitalization projects on that stretch of Wisconsin Avenue, including the nightclub Pure, the Boston Lofts above the Boston Store, apartment conversions in the Majestic Building, and the new retail stores coming to the Shps of Grand Avenue later this year.

Check out the article for more info: Downtown projects heat up - Mo's Irish Pub is latest addition to developments along Wisconsin Ave.


The big news story announced in today's Journal Sentinel is the latest step in the process to redevelop the Menomonee Valley--the once-buslting industrial center of Milwaukee. The City has announced its purchase (as part of the condemnation process) of the former Milwaukee Road railroad shops and yard facilities. The 134-acre site, owned by CMC Heartland Partners of Chicago, has sat vacant for 20 years after the Milwaukee Road went out of business. CMC had announced plans several times that it was going to redevelop the property but never really made any serious effort to do so. After getting fed up with empty promises, and realizing the potental of the proprty, the City of Milwaukee began a fight to condemn the land a few years ago, clean it up, and prepare it for proper development. The City has offered CMC $3.55 million for the land, which is a cruicial step in revitalizing the entire Valley.

The City has been working with other interested parties to prepare a development plan for the entire Valley, including the Milwaukee Road Shops site. It is expected the Valley will return to its industrial roots, becoming a modern-day center for industrial and light-manufacturing uses, creating thousands of jobs for Milwaukeeans--in addition to entertainment, recreational, office, retail, and residential uses in other parts of the Valley. Plans call for a focus on "green architecture," buldings and site plans designed to incorporate environmentally sustainable elements. Another key to redevelopment is to improve access to the Menomonee Valley with the extension of W. Canal Street, which has connections to nearby freeways, as well as extensive railroad access. Work on Canal Street is expected to start and finish in 2004, with the possibility of opening some sites up for development by summer 2005 (pending environmental contamination cleanup).

See the article for an in-depth look at the announcement: Valley deal plants seeds for growth - Dormant for 20 years, Menomonee land is sold to city for development


Finally, a Journal Sentinel article from this past Monday describes the experimental "green roof" atop the offices of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. A green roof is one design feature of the aforementioned practice of environmentally sustainable design. The experiment placess thousands of plants on the roof, in hopes of controlling rainwater runoff/stormwater retention, reduce the wear and tear on the roof, and lower temperatures inside and outside the building because of the cooling effect green roofs have. The effects of the experimental green roof atop MMSD's office will be closely monitored, and can be ealisly modified if the need arises.

The green roof concept is widely used in Europe, but has been somewhat slow to take off in the US. Once of the more well-known US green roofs is the one atop City Hall in Chicago. As far as I know, this is the first green roof in Milwaukee, and the concept will be encouraged elsewhere in the city.

Read more about it in the article: Sewerage district touts 'green roofs'

Also included in the article is a photo of the MMSD green roof, with a northeasterly view of the Milwaukee skyline in the background. MMSD's offices are located just off S. 2nd Street in Walker's Point, right where the Menomonee Canal splits off the Menomonee River directly across the river from the Post Office Building near Downtown. Note the tower crane for Cathedral Place (topped out now at 18-floors) in the background.

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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2003, 4:54 PM
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I just read about the bank relocation at wisbusiness.com. Great news for the city.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2003, 5:35 PM
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Score one for the city. Good news for milwaukee.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2003, 6:56 AM
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Ground has broken for Milwaukee's newest residential high-rise, which began construction a few weeks ago. Kilbourn Tower will rise from atop the lake bluff at the corner of N. Prospect and E. Kilbourn Avenues. Th 33-story tower will have 74 luxury condominium units, and aditional amenities including a 24-hour concierge service, on-site wine cellar and humidor, fitness center, business center, with 4 levels of underground parking and a private car wash.

See the Kilbourn Tower website for more details.

The Journal Sentinel had a special advertising section a couple of weeks ago called "Condo Living" that featured a great article about Kilobourn Tower with some renderings.



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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2003, 8:15 PM
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Brew town's really becoming upscale, that tower extends the skyline.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2003, 8:49 PM
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YES!!!!

kilbourne is finally going to happen. a mighty fine modern building building in an absolutely great spot in regards to the skyline. this will be a fun one to watch as it rises as it will have a dramatic skyline impact, especially from the lake view of the skyline.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2003, 2:10 AM
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A very nice addition to the skyline.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2003, 2:56 AM
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What a nice addition to the skyline this will be and the great city of Milwaukee.
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2003, 12:24 PM
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I drove by yesterday. A big hole in the ground is all that's apparent right now.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2003, 4:58 AM
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University Club Tower, the proposed 32-story luxury condo atop the lakefront bluff in Downtown, has received preliminary approval from the Milwaukee City Planning Commission.

The tower remains in the marketing stages, as the developer is looking for more prospectuve buyers before construction can begin.

The site for this tower is immediately next-door to Kilbourn Tower, already under construction (see previous posts above). It is located immediately to the left of Kilbourn Tower in the renderings posted toward the top of this thread.

See the article from today's Journal Sentinel for more details: City planners favor condo tower - Downtown units would be tops in size, price

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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2003, 5:17 AM
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Okay...Milwaukee is TOTALLY impressing me at this moment. SO SO SO SO SO underrated .
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 9, 2003, 5:33 AM
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great news markitect, thanks for the update. kilbourne tower alone will dramtically change the skyline from the lake, but if this other tower also rises right next to it, it'll damn near be a brand new face to the skyline.

here's to hoping that the development pace continues to gather steam in brewcity.


p.s. i am photoshop incompetent, but i was wondeing if someone else with mad p-shop skills could maybe morph that u club tower into that kilbourne tower rendering, or vice -versa. perhaps the persepctives are too different to make it work, but it might look cool.

Last edited by Steely Dan; Sep 9, 2003 at 6:02 AM.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2003, 2:48 AM
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Thanks for the update Markitect. Keep 'em coming. Everything looks WONDERFUL. Milwaukee is definetly moving forward in the RIGHT direction!
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2003, 7:03 AM
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Man, you are overflowing with good news, aren't you Mark?

I was downtown yesterday (I went to Borders to pick up the new John Mayer CD, of course) and Cathedral Place is nearly finished. The tower's facade is 2/3rds complete, and the parking garage portion's facade appears to be complete already, unless they're adding glass to cover up the interiors...which I kind of hope they do.

The condo boom is definately big here...very exciting times. 1522 was just completed a few months ago (hey, didja know that Halle Berry's movin' into the top two floors?), and Kilbourne is getting ready to go up...funny, but I year ago, there were a few Milwaukee forumers who doubted that even that would make it to the construction phase, much less the then-renderingless University Club Tower. Honestly, I can't remember if I did or not...lol. It's just too bad that RiverTower fell by the wayside. That was a cool-lookin' building. Ah, well. Life goes on, and the Park East goes down (yay!). Things are lookin' good from where I'm sitting.

Ironically enough, I happen to be sitting in a building facing north, so I really can't see anything I was just talking about. But you got what I meant. Um...yeah. This is what happens when I don't sleep, kids.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2003, 4:15 AM
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Milwaukee's lakefront will be heating up once again with an invitation-only architectural design competition for the proposed Pier Wisconsin building--a new home for the organization that specializes in Great Lakes and freshwater education.

The original design and location for the new Pier Wisconsin building were heavily debated over the past couple of years. The white colored sail-and-mast-like design elements were criticized for being too derrivative the neighborhing Quadracci Pavillion at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Furthermore, despite its sloping tent-like form, the 90-foot high building was criticized for obstructing views of Lake Michigan. Other design criticisms arose over public access, parking issues, and incoherent reconfiguration of the site at the end of Municipal Pier.

After local philanthropist Michael Cudahay, who was backing the project, threatened to relocate the project to other Wisconsin cities, a 30-year lease agreement was ironed out upon the understanding that the project be redesigned. In addition to aquariums, exhibits, classrooms, labs, and theater/lecture halls, the new proposal will also include a new location for the science education center, Discovery World (one of Cudahay's previous acts of philanthropy), currently located at the Milwaukee Public Museum in Downtown.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel announced today that a competition will be held in the coming weeks for a new design for Pier Wisconsin.

Read the article for more details (and check out the archived Pier Wisconsin articles in the sidebar, too): Architects to compete for Pier design - Invitations seek plans for water education facility

Pictured below are renderings and models of the old design for Pier Wisconsin, which have now been scrapped.







The site on Municipal Pier is the current home for the Pier Wisconsin group, which operates out of the old terminal of the now-defunct Milwaukee Clipper steamship (which used to run between Milwaukee, WI and Muskegon, MI). The old terminal building will be demolished to make way for the new building. Pier Wisconsin has provided facilities to educate vistors about Great Lakes marine life and history. Recently, the group completed the Dennis Sullivan--a replica of a Great Lakes schooner--built from scratch primarily by a group of volunteers (depicted in the renderings above).
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2003, 5:46 PM
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I like the original design and location. It's perfect IMO.

Is that location and design in the picture, then, NOT going to happen? What's the most likely location for this?

I don't see how this could possibly "obstruct views." Sounds ludicrous.
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2003, 7:30 PM
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The original design is clunky and an obvious knock-off of the art museum. This is GREAT news.

EDIT: Oh God...please don't let Kahler-Slater win...


And btw, there's a new rendering of University Club Tower up at the site. I'll have to go take pics soon!

Last edited by CityGawd5; Sep 14, 2003 at 7:54 PM.
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2003, 7:42 PM
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The project has, and will be located in the same general area--on Municipal Pier, just south and east of the Art Museum. As to where exactly on the Pier it will be located (at the eastern tip, or along the southern edge, or somewhere else nearby) I have no idea.

The criticism about obstructing views of the lake came about because of the building's opaqueness. Most of the facade of the building was a solid white mass with small slivers of windows. It was definitley a valid criticism when the building was located at the far eastern tip of the pier (as seen in the third picture above). Earlier this year, the design was proposed to be relocated slightly, to the southern edge of the pier (as seen in the first rendering and model pictured above), but that brought on a different set of issues.

Also at the time, the City was in lease negotiations with the Pieces of Eight restaurant, which also shares the Pier with the project (which is not depicted in any of the images above). It was unsettled at the time whether the restaurant would continue to operate there and if the City would kick them out (they were behind on their lease payments owed to the City at the time). That conflict was eventually settled, Pieces of Eight stays put, and that also affects the configuration of Municipal Pier and the proposed Pier Wisconsin building.

I think an architetcural competition for the Pier Wisconsin project will bring forth an interesting set of designs, based on who some of the architects are (see article). A building located at such a promoinent location in the city's "front yard" must be carefully designed. I was not a fan of the original design and thought is was far from perfect, less so because it appeared to mimic certain elements of the Art Museum (white colored, mast sturcuture, cables), but because it really did obsturct lake views (the renderings above are misleading because they are all taken from viewpoints at which people would never be able to view the building) and the sloping white facades were almost entirely opaque.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2003, 1:08 PM
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I agreee with you CG5, it does look like a rip-off.

All this Milwaukee news is great. After visiting there this summer I'm definitely on the band wagon!
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  #20  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2003, 7:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CG5
And btw, there's a new rendering of University Club Tower up at the site. I'll have to go take pics soon!
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