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 (hold on to your monocles, everyone who complains about this column every other week) new shit.
• Question in headline: “Is A Couture Deal Finally Coming?” Answer in article: Maybe? In June?
Yes, the loooong-in-the-works Couture development—a.k.a. the proposed 44-story, $122 million apartment tower on Milwaukee’s lakefront—might have an announcement next month concerning its loooong-in-the-works financing. “We do think there will be very positive news at the end of June to share,” said Public Works Commissioner Jeff Polenske at a recent Public Works Committee meeting. So watch for that!
Complicating matters is the fact that the loooong-in-the-works Couture has loooong been tied to a loooong-delayed streetcar expansion. (Remember the streetcar?) The ever-annoyed Ald. Bob Bauman would like to see the two projects separated (to the tune of $10 million); also, he ain’t buying the Couture’s teased June announcement. Here are some choice Bauman quotes from the Public Works meeting:
“Separate the projects, come up with the extra $10 million and get things finished.”
“This is exactly the same kind of happy talk the Wisconsin Center engaged in. So please stop with the propaganda.”
“Could anyone suggest to the new county executive to take the land back and put out a new [request for proposals]?”
“No developer in Milwaukee thinks this building will be built and they have very specific reasons for that.”
Urban Milwaukee notes that “the committee held the matter Wednesday, just as it has over the past year, but Bauman promised to force the issue at an upcoming meeting.” So watch for that, too! [Urban Milwaukee]
• Here’s a Couture video from 2012:
• The shiny new BMO Tower may be Downtown Milwaukee’s latest crown jewel, but the old, not-so-shiny BMO Harris office building next door is due for some new shit, too. A planned overhaul of the 52-year-old building includes “offices, retail spaces, a food hall, first floor upscale restaurant and an urban pocket park on North Broadway.” [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Work has begun on an 18-unit, two-story building dubbed the BV+ (Bay View Addition). The development, located at 2557-2565 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is just one project from developer Scott Genke; the nearby Bay View Building—formerly the home of the Alchemist Theatre—is being transformed into the new home on Honeypie Cafe, with apartments on the second floor. [Urban Milwaukee]
• The future home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, located at 212 W. Wisconsin Ave., has a nifty new “blade” sign. Even though the MSO HQ will be known as the Bradley Symphony Center, the sign pays tribute to the building’s former life as the Grand Warner Theatre. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Since drive-in movie theaters have been given the green light to do their thing, the Milwaukee Milkmen are turning their Franklin ballpark into, well, a drive-in movie theater. The first pair of as-yet-unannounced films (one family-friendly, one not) will screen Friday, May 22. [OnMilwaukee]
• They’re finally gonna knock down the old Northridge Mall. Probably. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Wanna see parts of the old Shops of Grand Avenue that you’re not allowed to see any more since private consulting company GRAEF moved in? Here you go! [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Wanna see parts of the old Fortress building that you can’t afford any more since they turned it into luxury apartments? Here you go! [Milwaukee Business Journal]