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.
• Have you ever found yourself shopping at the shopping-filled Bayshore Town Center in Glendale and thinking to yourself, “There’s just too much shopping here”? Then you’re in luck, because there’s a $75 million conceptual proposal to eliminate a lot of that pesky shopping, and replace it with hotels, apartments, senior apartments, office space, and a big fire pit in that public square where they usually have a splash pad for kids or whatever. “Retail redefined,” indeed.
Dallas-based Cypress Equities wants to knock down the indoor mall portion of Bayshore (currently home to a Rocky Rococo and the soon-to-be-departing Board Game Barrister), reducing Bayshore’s retail space by a whopping 37 percent. Some combination of the aforementioned non-shopping amenities—hotels, apartments, etc.—would sprout up in its wake. Why? “We want reasons to go to the mall beyond just to go shopping, and of course when we’re there we are going to spend money,” Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy told the Milwaukee Business Journal. “It’s too big now. There’s too many retail fronts. The town center needs more residential, maybe a hotel.”
The planned conversion has a long way to go, however, and needs Common Council approvals, “possible city financing help,” and further public hearings. “The project plan will be modified,” said City Attorney John Fuchs. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Developer Que El-Amin wants to redevelop the site of the historic Wildenberg Hotel into 23 apartment units and 22 townhomes. The hotel, located at 3774 S. 27th St., was built in 1856. [Urban Milwaukee]
• That big Komatsu Mining Corp. deal—in which the West Milwaukee company would build its $285 million new headquarters at the Port of Milwaukee—is moving along swimmingly. Port of Milwaukee officials approved a $1.9 million sale of more than 12 acres for the project; the city will use $500,000 to clean up the site, and will pocket the rest. “It’s probably the largest investment outside of downtown in decades, other than Miller Park,” said Dan Casanova, lead economic development specialist at Department of City Development. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• That big New State deal—in which organizers and musicians would purchase the burned-out Palms theater at the corner of 27th and State and convert it into an all-ages music venue—is also moving along swimmingly. The Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee approved the sale of the building, and the full Common Council will vote on the matter tomorrow. [Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service]
• That big McKinley School deal—in which a developer would convert the vacant school at 2001 W. Vliet St. into 35 affordable apartments for veterans—is, well, kind of moving along. The Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee gave the project a thumbs up despite “vocal opposition” from neighbor Gail Winston, who wants half the building for “community enrichment.” Urban Milwaukee further reports this fascinating detail:
She said drug dealing and violence is rampant in the neighborhood. In a wide ranging speech, Winston added: “I have Hmong people with three shotguns telling me they shoot squirrels.” [Urban Milwaukee]
• The long-in-the-works redevelopment of the former Blommer Ice Cream Co. at 1500 W. North Ave. into affordable apartments is almost complete. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• A bunch of apartments are popping up near the Fiserv Forum, and Urban Milwaukee has the pictures to prove it. [Urban Milwaukee]