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.
• The (eventual) renovation of the Shops of Grand Avenue isn’t the only big change coming to West Wisconsin Avenue: On December 31, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra finally acquired the former Warner Grand Theatre, 212 W. Wisconsin Ave., and will transform it into MSO’s dedicated performance center. Renovating the long-shuttered downtown theater into a modern 1,750-seat venue will require plenty of work, including pushing back a rear wall roughly 30 feet to accommodate a larger stage. The new theater is expected to open in fall 2020. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Speaking of that stretch of West Wisconsin Avenue, the big, blue, former Reuss Federal Plaza building—a.k.a. 310 W. Wisconsin, a.k.a. the CapTel building—has been sold to a New York-based investment group for $19.5 million. “Through an investment of over $10 million in common building upgrades and amenities Time Equities intends to reposition this building into a first class office environment and contribute to the exciting transformation of Westown into a 24/7 work and entertainment district,” says Time Equities director of acquisitions (and former Milwaukeean) Brad Gordon. “We feel the timing is perfect to accomplish this and intend to be a member of the Milwaukee business community indefinitely.” [BizTimes]
• An 1880s single family cottage at 1159 E. Kane Pl. was razed during the first yawning days of 2018. It will be replaced by a three-story, 2,800-square-foot duplex residence. The now-demolished building was described as a “problem property for some years.” [Urban Milwaukee]
• Demolition has begun on the BMO Harris Bank parking garage, located on the corner of North Water Street and East Wells Street. The steaming pile of rubble will be eventually replaced by the gleaming, 25-story, $132-million BMO Tower, which will be occupied by BMO, Michael Best & Friedrich, and others. The projected opening date of the tower is December 2019. [Urban Milwaukee]