Depending on which news sources you follow, Milwaukee is going through either a “renaissance” or a “reinvention.” Or maybe it’s a “reboot” or a “reimagining,” like that crappy Tim Burton version of Planet Of The Apes. However you want to define it, it’s safe to say that Milwaukee is currently building a lot of new shit.
• File this one under “Are they going to let these guys build their shit somewhere, or are we going to get sued forever?” Just when it seemed like the City of Milwaukee was ready to allow three groups who have been trying to open a downtown strip club since 2010 to actually open that downtown strip club (in exchange for dropping lawsuits against the city totaling more than $1 million), nope. On Monday, the Milwaukee County Licenses Committee voted 3-2 to hold the matter of the Executive Lounge (again), a strip club planned for 730 N. Old World 3rd St. Somewhere, OnMilwaukee‘s Dave “My Strip Club Experience Is Fairly Vast” Begel wept.
First, the delayed “We’ll give you a license if you stop suing us” deals, which were hammered out between the city and club owners earlier this month. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Under the deals, club owners would drop their lawsuits without costs to either party, and city officials would agree to not enact legislation that “substantially burdens” the operation of a strip club for six years. The city would not, for example, effectively ban “champagne rooms” by designating a minimum room size in which erotic dancers perform, nor would they require the dancers to remain at a certain distance from patrons while performing, require them to perform on a stage, or prohibit “any touching (other than touching that is already prohibited by state law),” the agreements say.
So why the delay? The Grand Avenue mall, of all things. For three hours at Monday’s meeting, downtown business owners spoke out in opposition to the club (again). Among them was Grand Ave. (re)developer Tony Janowiec. Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“We don’t have the luxury to sit here for two years to see how the strip club works out,” Janowiec said Tuesday, a day after the council’s Licenses Committee delayed a decision on the club. “It could be an extremely well-run club that has no negative impact. But why take that risk?”
The Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District is currently searching for a different spot for the club, and the issue is set to go before the Licenses Committee (again) on May 8. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Construction is set to begin this month on a six-story, 150-room Hyatt Place in the former Pabst brewery complex. The hotel is being built on a vacant lot at 821 W. Winnebago St. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Two Milwaukee developers are mulling a 24-story building along the Milwaukee River in the Park East corridor. The building would be located next to the new Bader Rutter offices—a.k.a. the former Laacke & Joys building—and would include apartments and a hotel. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Bucking recent trends, some new shit is actually opening on the East Side. Specialty doughnut shop Donut Squad is coming to the former Goldcoast Subs location, 2264 N. Prospect Ave., this May. [BizTimes]
• Speaking of the East Side, they’re gonna tear down St. Rita Church and put up a six-story senior housing complex. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• A historic Walker’s Point building located at 331 S. 3rd St. recently sold for a cool $560,000. The so-called Louis Bass building is gonna be—take a guess!—apartments, and it’s gonna be surrounded by—take another guess!—even more apartments. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• The city gave a final, “Okay, let’s just start building this thing already” go-ahead to the 44-story Couture apartment hi-rise. Construction of the massive apartment/transit center/grocery store/restaurant/place you’ll never, ever be able to afford but yay, downtown will look different is expected to begin later this year. [Milwaukee Business Journal]