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.
• Some things never go out of style: Pet Rocks, Crystal Pepsi, fidget spinners, etc. In Milwaukee, you can add “streetcar extensions” to the list. Mayor Tom Barrett announced that he’s seeking $5 million in city spending for a public plaza to be located on the corner of Fourth and Wisconsin—a.k.a. that mostly empty lot across from the downtown convention center, a.k.a. where that weird “Spot 4MKE” thing used to be. The plaza, complete with “a streetcar stop, public art, bike amenities, benches and landscaping,” would complement three potential streetcar extensions to Wisconsin Avenue, Bronzeville, and Walker’s Point.
The plaza is nothing new—renderings of the project date back to 2016—but with the 2020 Democratic National Convention looming like an inevitable Joe Biden nomination, you better believe it’ll be approved soon. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Speaking of plazas, the Milwaukee Common Council gave a thumbs-up to a $4 million loan for the One MKE Plaza development. The $32 million project is located at the former Milwaukee Mall on W. Fond du Lac Avenue and W. North Avenue, and will include the 82-room Ikon Hotel. [Urban Milwaukee]
• A groundbreaking ceremony was held at 143 E. Lincoln Ave. for MKE Urban Stables, a.k.a. the new home for the Milwaukee Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit. Touted as “the first facility in the nation to combine mounted patrol, equine-assisted therapy and community engagement programs,” the $5.65 million project is expected to open in January 2020. [Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service]
• Ground was also broken on the $8.5 million Clarke Square Apartments, located at Clarke Square Park on the city’s south side. The two-building, 40-unit project “will include 10 units for young adults who turned 18 and are aging out of foster care.” [Urban Milwaukee]
• The Milwaukee School of Engineering will spend a cool $37 million to renovate its Roy W. Johnson Residence Hall, turn it into a “living-learning community,” and change its name to the Hermann Viets Memorial Tower. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning students have big ideas for the Harbor District. Enjoy the area’s gritty charm while you can! [Urban Milwaukee]
• The city wants the owners of the long-defunct Northridge Mall to just knock the thing down already. The owners aren’t interested. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Ryan Braun and the Johnsonville Racing Sausages helped build a Habitat for Humanity house, and Urban Milwaukee has the pictures to prove it. GO BREWERS. [Urban Milwaukee]