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.” However you want to define it, it’s safe to say that Milwaukee is currently building a lot of new and wonderful things.

• When you think of iconic Milwaukee landmarks, what do you think of? The Hoan Bridge? The majestic wings of the Milwaukee Art Museum? The big orange thing in front of the majestic wings of the Milwaukee Art Museum? No, you think of the snow pile on the east wall of the Marcus Performing Arts Center parking structure. We know we do

Unfortunately—tragically, some might say—this beloved-by-millions Milwaukee spot may be in danger. (Well, not the snow pile itself; that thing’ll be history by this weekend.) It seems that the Department of City Development is looking for private developers to redevelop the 2.45-acre site of the parking structure. So long, “just shove the snow through the gap in the fence on the top level and let the pile sit there like a king until April” parking structure; hello, something “better”? SAY IT AIN’T SO. A request for proposals (RFP) is expected to be issued sometime this month.

“The parking structure is increasingly out of step with other downtown properties,” blasphemes Urban Milwaukee. “It is the sole structure on the property, which fills an entire block, and does not include any street-facing commercial space or any other activation. As a result of its design, it functionally disconnects the Water Street entertainment district to the north from the theater complex to the south.”

Like we said: blasphemy! Will we soon be filing a petition with the city, asking for permanent historic designation for the site? If folks could do it when the Marcus Center wanted to tear out some old trees, you better believe we will. [Urban Milwaukee]


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Pasha Petkuns (@pashatheboss)

• Work has yet to begin on that double-room FPC Live/Live Nation/Ticketmaster concert venue next to Fiserv Forum, though rest assured it will begin at some point. The venue is expected to open in 2024—though not in time for the 2024 Republican National Convention. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

• Speaking of coming-soon concert venues, the big Iron District development a couple two-tree blocks from Fiserv Forum is adding 76 more apartments to its original 99-apartments plan That original plan also calls for an 8,000-seat soccer stadium, a 140-room hotel, and a 3,500-person indoor concert venue operated by the Pabst Theater Group. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• All New and Wonderful engines are finally go for an eight-story, 161-room Hilton Tempo hotel on the corner of Kilbourn Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. What was the holdup? Even though the site is currently home to a parking lot, that parking lot is part of the old Milwaukee Journal Sentinel complex, which has historic preservation protection. The city’s Historic Preservation Commission approved the hotel project earlier this month. The former Journal Sentinel building itself has already been redeveloped into apartments. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• The same developer behind the Hilton Tempo project, HKS Holdings LLC, recently bought a half-block site in Walker’s Point—530 S. 5th St., to be exact—and plans to build…something there. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• The Milwaukee County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is planning to build a shared bike-bus lane on 35th Street, between Vliet Street and National Avenue. MCDOT has applied for a $850,000 federal grant to make the project a reality. [Urban Milwaukee]

• This week in Northridge Mall news: Phoenix Investors LLC, a.k.a. the company that swooped in at the last minute with a purchase agreement for the long-vacant mall, wants to use the site for “industrial storage and warehousing, as well as ancillary speculative light industrial development.” The City of Milwaukee, however, isn’t thrilled with that idea, since it “does not promote meaningful job growth.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Exclusive articles, podcasts, and more. Support Milwaukee Record on Patreon.


Full “New And Wonderful Things” (formerly called “New Sh*t”) archives

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.