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.

• “If you walk that stretch right now, it’s pretty barren.”

So says Department of City Development economic development specialist Dan Casanova about the not-so-inviting area that connects the Historic Third Ward and Downtown. You know, the not-so-inviting area under the freeway? Anyway, the not-so-inviting area is set to receive a $3.8 million makeover. “Street paving, streetscaping, traffic signal, upgrades, utility work, public art, lighting improvements and bike amenities” are all being pitched by the DCD and developer J. Jeffers & Co. Urban Milwaukee goes on to note:

J. & Jeffers Co. would front the $3.8 million required and be repaid, with 5.5 percent interest, by 2028 from increased property tax revenue as part of a developer-financed tax-incremental financing (TIF) district that was created to support public infrastructure improvements around the redevelopment of the Mitchell, Mackie and Button Block buildings.

Also included in the plan: $100,000 to spruce up the oft-forgotten Pompeii Square memorial. [Urban Milwaukee]

• Speaking of $3 million, the city will have to pony up that amount in order to cover unforeseen utility work at the N. Second Street site of the new Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra theater project. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• The City Plan Commission gave a thumbs-up to the design of Komatsu Mining’s 60-acre, $285 million South Harbor Campus. What does the design entail? How about a “three-story, 176,000-square-foot office building, training center, museum and two-story automation lab as well as a 430,000-square-foot, three-story manufacturing facility.” Oh, and an iconic shovel! Per Urban Milwaukee:

[GRAEF vice president Patrick J.] Kressin said a large shovel, installed as a monument in front of the proposed office building would be of significant interest. “It’s very iconic, we think this is going to be one of the most photographed places within the city,” said the landscape architect of the large shovel that is currently installed in front of the company’s W. National Ave. campus.

The Bronze Fonz could not be reached for comment. [Urban Milwaukee]

• The Milwaukee Bucks are reviewing 14 proposals from developers across the country for two hotel projects near Fiserv Forum. Ground won’t be broken on the projects until after the 2020 Democratic National Convention. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• Speaking of hotels, a proposed Kinn Hotel at 602 N. Broadway keeps getting smaller and smaller. Over a series of proposals, the hotel has shrunk from nine floors and 62 rooms, to seven floors and 45 rooms, to five floors and 27 rooms. [Urban Milwaukee]

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