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 and wonderful things.
• There are certain dates that stand out in Milwaukee history: January 31, 1846, the day the city was incorporated; January 26, 1934, the day Bob Uecker was born; April 4, 2018, the day we screened the Weird Al classic UHF at Avalon Theater. Oh, and January 27, 2021, the day when two separate hotels totaling 257 rooms were announced for Milwaukee. Truly a historic moment for new and wonderful things.
First up is Tempo by Hilton, an eight-story, 155-room hotel planned for the parking lot at W. Kilbourn Avenue and N. Old World Third Street—a.k.a. the parking lot of the former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel building. What’s up with Tempo, you ask? Well…
The Tempo by Hilton brand, introduced a year ago, is targeting a younger demographic and is focused on wellness and experiences. Tempo’s guest rooms have designated areas for guests to work, recharge and get ready for the day, and Tempo by Hilton properties will feature shared guest spaces and specialized food and beverage concepts.
The Tempo hotel would become part of the broader redevelopment of the former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel block. Developer J. Jeffers & Co. owns that block and is in the midst of converting two office buildings at its northern edge into apartments and housing for Milwaukee Area Technical College students.
The project is currently seeking foreign investors. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Next up is Hotel Third Ward, an 11-story, 102-room Marriott Tribute Portfolio hotel planned for the former Hoffco Shoe Polish building at 125-129 N. Water St. What’s up with this one, you ask? Well…
The developer [Mark Wimmer] and his brother, also with the firm, purchased the former firehouse immediately south of the building in 2018 and are redeveloping it into a multi-unit residential structure. Wimmer said it served as a gateway into understanding the neighborhood. The surface parking lot between the two buildings would be merged into the hotel property.
Outdoor seating for a restaurant would line the riverwalk on the building’s first floor. […] A second level would hold a handful of hotel rooms, a fitness center and meeting rooms. The upper floors, formed from both the old and new building, would include hotel rooms. The top floor would include a restaurant with outdoor deck.
The Historic Third Ward Architectural Review Board has given the project unanimous conceptual approval. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Whether you like it or not, the Milwaukee Public Museum is still going through with that whole “leave its weird and wonderful longtime home on Wells Street and move to a new home it will share with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum near Fiserv Forum” thing. Oh, and it would like $65 million in state funding to do it. Will the museum get that state dough? Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s polite way of saying “no”:
Museum officials hope to see that funding request included in Gov. Tony Evers’ 2021-23 construction budget proposal when it’s unveiled in February.
That budget proposal from Evers, a Democrat, will need approval from the Legislature, which is controlled by Republicans.
Evers and Republican legislative leaders have frequently been at odds on state spending.
Also, who’s pumped for the new museum to have roughly half the exhibition space of the current museum? No one! But that’s what’s happening! [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• The former Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center, located at 790 N. Van Buren St., is going to be converted into apartments. Plans introduced in 2016 to build a 14-story tower atop the three-story historic building have been scrapped; now, it’s just gonna be a 20-25-unit apartment building. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Remember when the U.S. Postal Service was going to move out of its big downtown distribution center on W. St. Paul Avenue, and the building was going to be transformed into a gorgeous high-rise stuffed with office space and retail space and restaurant space? Well, the Postal Service isn’t leaving, apparently, so that’s the end of that. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Plans have been proposed for a 6.7-mile biking/walking trail through the 30th Street Corridor on the city’s north side. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Construction on the $188 million lakeside Couture luxury apartment high-rise streetcar depot and probably something else we’re forgetting has been—wait for it—delayed. Again. Well, the thing has been in a perpetual state of delay ever since it was first announced in 2012, so what’s a few weeks more? [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• And what did we learn this week? They’re always building something. Ain’t that right, old song from my old band?