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.
• File this one under NEWshit: Social architecture firm NEWaukee (via a development company called Place Based Development) will redevelop the former Schlitz Tivoli Palm Garden building at 504 W. National Ave. into an event/meeting/office space called The Beacon. The Walker’s Point building was formerly the longtime home of the Milwaukee Ballet.
A press release explains:
The Beacon will be a hub for social innovation and entrepreneurship, combating social isolation through connectivity and creating dozens of jobs by 2021. Preliminary plans for the mixed-use development include 8,500 sq ft of open office and meeting spaces, 6,000 sq ft of flexible event space, and 1,500 sq ft for an independently owned and operated cafe/bar.
Unlike any other office, retail, or restaurant experience in the region, the development will feature a true melting pot of Milwaukee’s food, art, tech, music, makers, and innovation cultures. Based on community response, the project will include frequent programming, connectivity to the City’s amenities and wrap-around business services to support small business tenants.
NEWaukee, as well as its sister companies Newance and Rev Collective, plan to serve as anchor tenants in the building. The remaining office and retail space is available and open for other social enterprises and small businesses eager to co-locate within this new ecosystem focused on social connectivity.
“The Beacon will provide a physical space for an inclusive and vibrant gathering of local artisans, makers, tech startups, small businesses, and the customers they serve,” says Angela Damiani, CEO and Co-Founder of NEWaukee, in the press release. “We believe the investment in the Walker’s Point area will have a ripple effect not only on that neighborhood, but also on the City as a whole, due to the extensive programmatic layers of the development.” [NEWaukee]
• A second Kinn MKE Guesthouse boutique hotel is coming to Milwaukee. The new Kinn will be located at 600 N. Broadway, will boast 32 rooms, and is expected to be up and running by the end of the summer. The original Kinn is located at 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View. [OnMilwaukee]
• Want more boutique hotels located in and around Downtown? You’ve got it, kid. In May, the historic Charles A. Koeffler, Jr. House at 817-819 N. Marshall St. will officially become a 17-room boutique hotel called the “Dubbel Dutch.” What’s the deal with the name, you ask?
“The name is a play on the original architecture of the historic side-by-side or double house, designed by Milwaukee’s famed Ferry & Clas in 1898. Dubbel Dutch draws its inspiration from the unique Flemish-style shaped gables crowned with finials and the Flemish-Dutch spelling for ‘double,'” said the partners in announcing the name.
Anyway, here’s that old Liz Phair song where she sings “When they do the double dutch that’s them dancing” (itself taken from an even older Malcolm McLaren song). [Urban Milwaukee]
• The former St. James Episcopal Church, located at 833 W. Wisconsin Ave., is in the process of being redeveloped into a “one-of-a-kind, 25,000-square-foot venue that’s expected to be fully operational in time for the Democratic National Convention.” The newly christened St. James 1868 will host weddings, corporate events, and themed parties. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• The City of Milwaukee is set to sell 19 vacant lots to Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. Habitat will use the lots, priced at $1 each and located “in an eight-block cluster between W. Keefe Ave., N. 1st St., W. Townsend St. and N. 3rd St.,” to fulfill its goal of building 40 new homes in the Harambee neighborhood. [Urban Milwaukee]
• The City of Milwaukee is also mulling leasing a closed landfill to We Energies in order to build “the largest solar array in the city.” The 44-acre site is located at 1600 E. College Ave. [Urban Milwaukee]
• A high-rise apartment tower planned for Milwaukee’s East Side could be scaled down to a mid-rise apartment tower. Developer Mandel Group Inc. first proposed the so-called Portfolio project, located at 1350 N. Prospect Ave., in 2016. Back then it was pitched as a 24-story, 235-unit behemoth. Now, thanks to a “lack of city financing help,” the developer is considering a 7- to -12-story building instead. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee wants to knock down some of the old Columbia St. Mary’s complex located on the university’s northwest quadrant. Some people, however, aren’t too keen on the idea. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]