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.
• Milwaukee’s oft-renamed downtown convention center, the Wisconsin Center, wants to expand. Like, from 265,000 square feet to 437,000 square feet. But where to get the cash? That’s where the state comes in. A last-minute amendment to the recently passed 2019-2021 Wisconsin Biennial Budget includes a “moral obligation pledge” from the Wisconsin Legislature that would allow bonding for the roughly $300 million project. “We’re pretty proud,” Visit Milwaukee board chairman Omar Shaikh said. “We got that plan without a tax increase. We feel pretty good about it.” The Wisconsin Center District hopes to start work in 2020. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• You know that area where Brady Street bends into Water Street? That area that used to be kind of desolate but is now a certified “condo canyon”? Well, it’s gonna get even more canyon-y. (Urban Milwaukee is quick to point out that there is only one condo complex in the area; all the other new-ish buildings are apartments.) The Milwaukee Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee unanimously approved a plan to build a 76-unit apartment building on a triangular lot near the site. The lot was previously home to a Clear Channel billboard, and it’s currently home to a soon-to-be-demolished warehouse on Jackson Street. [Urban Milwaukee]
• The Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee also approved a mixed-income, five-story, 32-story apartment tower planned for the area near 455 E. Ogden Ave. The tower will contain high-end housing as well as affordable housing. No word yet on how many of the 300-plus units will be “affordable.” [Urban Milwaukee]
• The design for a previously announced seven-story, 42,000-square-foot office building made out of mass timber is getting tweaked. A redesigned facade will make the new building at 834 N. Plankinton Ave. (the former site of Renaissance Books) “more interesting” and will help reduce construction costs. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Two new bike boulevards may be coming to Riverwest and Harambee! [Urban Milwaukee]