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.
• If there’s one development that epitomizes the “new shit they’re building in Milwaukee” craze, it’s The Couture. Okay, maybe it’s the Bucks arena. Well, maybe it’s the Northwestern Mutual tower. No, definitely the Bucks arena. But whatever—let’s talk about The Couture. Construction on the $122 million, 44-story high-rise marvel, located on the former site of the Downtown Transit Center, is set to begin this fall. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The design, by Rinka Chung Architecture, now calls for 312 apartments, along with street-level retail space and a transit concourse that will include a link to the new downtown streetcar. An earlier plan had 302 units.
If construction begins in late fall, the first apartments would be available by the end of 2019, [developer Rick] Barrett said. The building would be completed in early 2020. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• One Couture tower not enough? How about two! Yes, per Urban Milwaukee, the Couture development is being developed in such a way that will allow a second development to develop on the site of the development. “Design documents recently filed with the city detail the first tower’s ellipse-shaped footprint on the northeast corner of the site and show an area at the southwest corner of the site that leaves space for the foundation of a second tower,” says Urban Milwaukee. The site continues:
Sources confirm that Barrett-Lo is actively planning the second tower in partnership with tower architect Rinka Chung Architecture. What remains unclear is the second tower’s use and height. While the apartment market might not stay hot long enough to continue to absorb hundreds of new units a year, the demand for hotel rooms Downtown remains strong as evidenced by the numerous proposals for new hotels. The Couture was originally proposed to include a 180-room hotel, but that was portion of the proposal was ultimately dropped in favor of more apartments. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Take a stroll—or, god help you, a drive—through the tangled mess of an intersection at Water and Brady streets and you’ll come across something that sticks out like a sore thumb: the former home of Moto-Scoot. Yes, the little motorbike shop that could recently relocated to 1420 E. Belleview Place, leaving a humble little building to stand amongst the towering gauntlet of new luxury apartments. But don’t worry: it’s going to be a burger, taco, and ice cream joint called Gordo’s. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal:
Gordo’s will also be bike and pedestrian friendly. The restaurant will feature a bar, where patrons can enjoy craft beers on tap. The bartenders will make sure to “entertain” the diners, although [co-owner Gordon] Goggin wouldn’t yet go into any more details on what that exactly means. Overall, Goggin said the staff will be accommodating and the environment will be fun and friendly.
“The whole idea is to have anybody be able to pull up in their car or walk or take a bike, sit inside or outside, and really enjoy themselves and hopefully come back,” he said.
Gordo’s is expected to open by mid-July. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Speaking of the Brady/Water luxury apartment gauntlet, the final piece of that gauntlet—a.k.a. the North End complex—is set to begin construction. An empty lot at 1500 N. Milwaukee St. will soon be home to a six-story, 89-unit apartment building. [Urban Milwaukee]
• The historic downtown Germania building, located at 135 W. Wells St., is gonna be apartments in July. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Just in case you thought all the new shit was exclusively downtown new shit, think again. “Together, the Stitchweld apartments, with nearly 300 units, and the 69-unit Vue project will bring several hundred affluent residents to Bay View,” says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a piece entitled “Some welcome high-end apartments in Bay View, others wince.” They go on to quote the one and only John Gurda:
“I have mixed feelings,” said John Gurda, a longtime Bay View resident.
“Obviously, if you have more people, you have more vitality and more energy,” Gurda said. “On the other hand, the last thing you want is for the neighborhood’s main street (S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) to become a gantlet of three- and four- and five-story buildings.
“It would make Bay View something it is not,” he said. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• And finally, to close out yet another roundup of a bunch of new shit they’re building in Milwaukee, here’s a roundup of a bunch of new shit they’re building in Milwaukee. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]