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.
• Can we agree that virtually all the new shit coming in the next year or so will be tied to the 2020 Democratic National Convention? And that every announcement will contain the phrase “ahead of the 2020 Democratic National Convention”? Good.
So, ahead of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, the City of Milwaukee and developer Kalan Haywood have announced big plans to redevelop the former Sears store at 2100 W. North Ave. (a.k.a. the Milwaukee Mall) into an 80-room hotel and 24,600-square-foot conference center. And if that wasn’t enough, the so-called Ikon Hotel would be just one phase in a bigger, “One MKE Plaza” plan that would transform neighboring properties into a co-working space, apartment complex, and more.
As for the location of the project (which Haywood has been quick to point out is only four—or maybe six?—stoplights away from Fiserv Forum)…
The developer told Urban Milwaukee that negative stereotypes of the area wouldn’t be a factor, because many guests coming from out of town don’t have those misconceptions. “That’s my job, to make sure that the perception of not being safe is inaccurate,” said Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II. “This community is full of residents that are involved, crime is on the low and investment is on the high.” The city has invested in a number of nearby projects in recent years, including the expansion of the Fondy Market, construction of Legacy Lofts and development of the St. Ann Center. Stamper said he has been working with DCD for three years to redevelop the site, with Haywood’s firm joining the project in the past year.
Haywood hopes to begin construction this spring. The first phase of the project will be funded via a tax-incremental financing (TIF) district and a $4 million city loan. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Speaking of transformative development in areas of the city that aren’t downtown, the former Schuster’s at 2153 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. will soon be turned into the home of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Flourishing Lives Initiative, as well as the headquarters of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The $100 million project will include removing a protective metal cover from the building’s exterior and completely restoring the 122-year-old complex. [BizTimes]
• Wangard Partners Inc. wants to build 200 apartments in Milwaukee’s Harbor District, right between the upcoming Komatsu and Michels developments. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• In an effort to keep up with the ever-changing demographics of the East Side, a vacant six-story office building at 1442 N. Farwell Ave. will be redeveloped into a senior living center. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• The design of a 43-unit affordable apartment building at W. Villard Ave. and N. 37th St. is going to be a bit different than originally planned. Indoor parking will be replaced with surface parking, and an “amenity deck planned for the roof of the parking garage” will be nixed. [Urban Milwaukee]
• The Frederick Lofts apartments opened in 2015 in Milwaukee’s fancy new Brewery neighborhood. This month, they sold for a cool $16 million “to an investment fund created by MLG Capital in Brookfield.” [Milwaukee Business Journal]