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.
• Back in June, we checked out the patio of the old La Fuente restaurant at 625 S. 5th St. It looked like it had been bombed:
Then, in August, we witnessed the destruction of the final chunk of the La Fuente building. “Taste La Fun,” indeed:
Now, this morning, we checked out the site again. Goodbye, any trace of La Fuente; hello apartments:
Yes, work is clipping along to make way for the Mandel Group’s six-story, 144-unit, market-rate apartment building called The Taxco. Along with the La Fuente site, a one-story warehouse and a three-story apartment building on the same side of the block have been demolished, too. (The warehouse was the one with the Selena mural. The Mandel Group promised to help the residents of the three-story apartment building find comparable or better housing.)
[Urban Milwaukee] has this to say about the building’s name:
The building’s name is an apparent reference to a Mexican city located approximately 95 miles southwest of Mexico City. And the surrounding Walker’s Point neighborhood has long been associated with Milwaukee’s Latino community, but the Taxco project represents a substantial change in the type of development in the area.
Indeed. The 5th Street La Fuente closed in November 2017, after 26 years in business. (The La Fuente on Bluemound Road remains open.) Soon after, the owner of Nomad World Pub, Mike Eitel, signed a one-year lease for the building and converted it into a pop-up soccer bar called Nomad Nacional. The site hosted World Cup events in the spring and summer of 2018, but was unused at the time of demolition.
• The reinvention of Bayshore continues! First it was replacing a public square with another public square. Then it was replacing a store (Boston Store) with another store (Target). Now it’s constructing four new apartment buildings on the property’s east side—four new apartment buildings that will join existing apartment buildings on the property’s west side. At least they’re building a double-drive-thru Culver’s soon, and the Rocky Rococo remains intact. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Milwaukee County Parks plans to extend the Oak Leak Trail between S. 27th Street and S. 16th Street, along the south side of the Kinnickinnic River. A federal grant will cover half of the $454,000 project, while “the parks department is working with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (MMSD) to align the project with planned removal of concrete lining along the river, opening up the possibility for ‘in-kind match opportunities’ to help the department pay for the rest of the project.” [Urban Milwaukee]
• Ground has finally been broken on the big $420 million expansion of downtown Milwaukee’s oft-renamed Wisconsin Center. How will the convention center remain competitive in the future? The Wisconsin Center District says the expansion must:
• Increase the expo hall by 112,000 square feet, and integrate six loading docks to support the added space;
• Offer a ballroom with at least 30,000 square feet and a minimum seating capacity of 2,000;
• Add no fewer than 24 new meeting rooms; and
• Include no fewer than 400 parking spaces
Construction is expected wrap up in 2024. [BizTimes]
• Plans are still in motion to transform the former Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center at 790 N. Van Buren St. into a 22-unit apartment building. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• An investment group has acquired the Niemann/Suminski funeral home at 2480-2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., and is now promoting the site as a “Bay View Development Opportunity.” So, yeah, expect apartments. [Urban Milwaukee]
• And what did we learn this week? Well, they’re always building something. Isn’t that right, old song from my old band that’s reuniting December 19 at Cactus Club?
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