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 and wonderful things.
• Financing has been secured for a project that will convert the former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel complex at 333 W. State St. into—Guess! Go ahead and guess! You’ll never guess!—apartments. Yes, a giant chunk of the block-sized Journal complex will be converted into 141 market rate apartments. They’re expected to be ready by fall 2022. Another chunk will be converted into affordable student housing units for the nearby Milwaukee Area Technical College. Those will be ready by this fall. Oh, and a third chunk will be used by Tenor Charter High School. The Journal Sentinel left its historic 95-year-old home in 2020; its new home is a leased space in one of the towers at 330 Kilbourn Ave. [OnMilwaukee]
• Plans have been hatched to launch a project that will convert the former M&I Bank building at 770 N. Water St. into—Guess! Go ahead and guess! You’ll never guess!—apartments. Yes, the currently vacant 21-story office tower could be converted into 231 apartments. Twenty percent of the units would be set aside as “affordable.” The street-level lobby would be set aside for retail. Oh, and developers are attempting to get the modernist building on the National Register of Historic Places, making the conversation project eligible for historic preservation tax credits. Marshall & Ilsley Bank called the building home from 1968 until 2011, after which the company was acquired by BMO Harris Bank. BMO moved next door—to the new BMO Tower, natch—in 2020. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Meanwhile, in Bay View, the stretch of Becher Street from I-94 to S. Kinnickinnic Avenue is getting a “road diet”—a.k.a. being narrowed from two lanes in each direction to one. Oh, and the stretch between S. 4th Street and S. 1st Street is getting raised bike lanes, too. Work on the projects is already underway, and is expected to wrap up in November. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Work is set to begin on a $1.85 million streetscaping project for downtown’s Cathedral Square Park. Urban Milwaukee says:
The project will replace matted grass, gravel and a deteriorating sidewalk with large, smooth pavers. The intent is to create a wider, durable surface to accommodate the variety of events and high pedestrian traffic the park hosts.
Unhealthy perimeter trees will be replaced and additional trees added, with protective wells added around each base. Benches, bicycle racks and garbage cans will also be added.
In happier times, the Cathedral Square Park plays host to a number of events like Jazz in the Park and Bastille Days. The streetscaping project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. [Urban Milwaukee]
• A 15-story, 220-unit apartment building known as The Edison is being planned for 1005 N. Edison St. alongside the Milwaukee River. The accompanying RiverWalk will be reworked to accommodate the project, which will also boast “four spaces for restaurants and retailers on its ground floor.” [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Chicago-area investors have purchased the one-story U.S. Postal Service building at 606 E. Juneau Ave. The investors will likely do…something with the building after the Postal Services lease expires “later in this decade.” “We’re keeping our options open in the future,” company principal Dan Rose tells the [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel].
• And what did we learn this week? Well, they’re always building something. Isn’t that right, old song from my old band?
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