Depending on which news sources you follow, Milwaukee is going through either a “renaissance” or a “reinvention.” However you want to define it, it’s safe to say that Milwaukee is currently building a lot of New & Wonderful Things! Here are some of them, brought to you by GTG Home Buyers!

• If you’ve driven/biked/walked/skipped through Downtown Milwaukee lately, you’ve likely noticed the big construction project at the corner of Wisconsin and Vel R. Phillips avenues. The former disused city-owned parking lot—once the site of the ill-fated “Spot 4MKE” placemaking thing—is quickly being transformed into the $16 million Vel R. Phillips Plaza. When finished, the 30,000-square foot plaza will boast a manicured garden, an information kiosk, public art, a station for the new bus-rapid-transit line, and, more. Oh! And a 2,900-square-foot Nomad Coffee Bar, courtesy of Nomad World Pub owner Mike Eitel!

“I am so excited for the opportunity to be a part of the growing energy and revitalization of the neighborhood and believe the Nomad Coffee Bar concept is a perfect fit for the VRP Plaza,” Eitel said in a press release announcing the cafe. “The synergies between the mission of the VRP Plaza, the Nomad Coffee Bar as a business model, and the core values of Caravan Hospitality’s company culture are truly aligned.”

The cafe will offer “all-day food and drink, alcoholic beverages, and kid-friendly options.”

Construction of Vel R. Phillips Plaza—named after the trailblazing Milwaukee politician who enjoyed birdwatching on the Horicon Marsh—is expected to be completed in time for the 2024 Republican National Convention this summer. [Urban Milwaukee]

• A developer is building a two-building “upscale” apartment complex at a “highly-visible, but, until now, hard-to-access site on Milwaukee’s South Side.” That site, “formally 4450 S. 27th St., is visible from Interstate 43/894 to the south, but accessing the development will occur via what is currently a dead-end segment of S. 26th Street branched off of W. Whitaker Avenue.” Each building will have two floors and 12 units. A third two-floor, 12-unit building is planned for later phase of development. [Urban Milwaukee]

• The concrete core of the long-in-the-works, currently-under-construction, we-still-can’t-believe-it’s-actually-happening Couture apartment tower along the lakefront has reached its highest point. And—believe it or not!—the 44-story luxury tower will start housing its first tenants on April 1. No foolin’! [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• Got $6.5 million? Then you might be interested in a newly available riverfront lot at the intersection of Brady, Water, and Jackson streets. The site is being sold by Wangard Partners, who previously planned to build a three-building, 250-unit condominium complex there. Why the ditched project? “Only a handful of condominium units have been developed in Milwaukee in the past decade, and Wangard has focused its attention outside of the city proper,” says [Urban Milwaukee].

• A developer wants to turn a long-vacant, four-story industrial building at 324 N. 15th St. and 1357-1439 W. St. Paul Ave. in the Menomonee Valley into apartments. But Menomonee Valley Partners Inc., “which spurs valley redevelopment work,” opposes the needed zoning change for the project. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

• All systems are GO for that big $205 million affordable apartment complex in Bay View. Bear Development is set to build 576 affordable apartments at 147 E. Becher St. The apartments, located on the north end of the neighborhood, will be spread out across eight five-story buildings. Rents will range from “40% to 80% of the area’s median earnings,” and a total of 144 units will be reserved for seniors. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

Rendering: Bear Development

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Co-Founder and Editor

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