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Old October 4th, 2012, 06:35 PM   #21
aquaticko
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It seems weird that the development would be opposed because it's on a "former" lake bed. If the concern is that there will be archaelogically or ecologically-interesting things in the site, it's going to be excavated anyway for construction. At the least, couldn't the organization opposed try to work out something with the developer? I can't say I understand the reasoning there.
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Old October 4th, 2012, 07:50 PM   #22
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Wisconsin's constitution guarantees that all waterways in and bordering the state will remain in the public domain, undeveloped by private business. This includes any lakebed regardless of whether it still has water over it.

The law has not always been enforced, such as the restaurant that sits on the old municipal pier in Milwaukee and the townhouses downtown that interrupt the riverwalk, although they were built before the riverwalk was there.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 12:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
It seems weird that the development would be opposed because it's on a "former" lake bed. If the concern is that there will be archaelogically or ecologically-interesting things in the site, it's going to be excavated anyway for construction. At the least, couldn't the organization opposed try to work out something with the developer? I can't say I understand the reasoning there.
I understand the reasoning, Milwaukee's lakefront is absolutely gorgeous and these people don't want it becoming cluttered with high-rise developments. However, they are wrong, the Couture proposal is not on a former lake bed. So, this isn't about archaelogical or ecological concerns, it's about preserveing the natural beauty of the lakefront downtown.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 04:44 PM   #24
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El Mariachi, your reasoning for Milwaukee's seemingly rudimentary skyline is only half true. The city and metro populations do indeed call for a much taller skyline downtown, but the close proximity of Milwaukee to Chicago has led to most corporate and regional headquarters to locate in the Windy City or between the two metro areas instead. Many of Milwaukee's taller buildings are actually residential, which lends itself to Milwaukee's quite dense city centre population. Milwaukee is far more suited for a light rail or similar mass transit system than places like Phoenix, Dallas, or MSP, and yet the latter are the cities which were gifted these while Milwaukee continues to squabble over financing a starter-line streetcar.
Anyway, with more mixed-use high-rises being proposed and designed and with Northwestern Mutual intent on expanding in the near future, I foresee even greater vertical stature in Milwaukee in the coming years...
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Old October 5th, 2012, 11:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paule View Post
It's starting to look very promiseing that NML will be building something very significant to replace their 16 story office building downtown. In the coming months we'll know for sure but we're all very excited about this.
http://biztimes.com/article/20120926...ilding-for-NML
"Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s plans for a new office building to replace the 16-story, 451,964-square-foot East Building on its downtown campus appear to be focused downtown, rather than at its Franklin campus."
i wasnt feeling very confident about the couture progressing, but NML building downtown may actually encourage a hotel to put a flag on the couture. milwaukee is maxed out with high end hotels, so im scratching my head about who would occupy the hotel portion.

current "high end" hotels:
-hyatt regency
-pfister
-marriott (2013)
-powatami casino hotel (2014)
-hilton garden (nov. 1)
-metro
-intercontinental
-iron horse
-hilton

i'm not sure where the Element Hotel will rank on the spectrum, but there is yet for a luxury brand to enter the market.

-conrad hilton
-ritz-carlton
-st regis
-jw marriott
-four seasons
-w (westin)

as with any flag property, these luxury properties require a daily rate/occupancy and milwaukee has never had the demand. a company could justify the demand by guaranteeing a certain number of nights (aka. ritz carlton charlotte, nc + bank of america) but i highly doubt nml would have the need. i guess we'll see.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 02:34 AM   #26
mbradleyc
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Also Sheraton.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 08:07 PM   #27
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Quote:
Possible lawsuit looming on Transit Center development

It looks like the recent conclusion by state officials that the Wisconsin Constitution doesn't bar private development of the Downtown Transit Center site will result in a lawsuit.

The Department of Natural Resources ruled that the site, at 909 E. Michigan St., isn't covered by the constitution's public trust doctrine. The doctrine largely bars private development on former lake beds.

That removes a legal barrier to construction of the 44-story Couture, which would include a 180-room hotel, 179 apartments and a parking structure. Developer Rick Barrett is negotiating to buy the county-owned property, and any such agreement will need County Board approval.

Preserve Our Parks, which opposes redeveloping the transit center for private use, says most of the 2.2-acre site was once part of Lake Michigan.

There could be a lawsuit filed to block a sale of the site, said Brian Taffora, county economic development director, at Monday's meeting of the County Board's Committee on Economic and Community Development.
I don't really get this. POP would rather have an empty Transit Center sitting on this supposed lake bed? Where's the natural beauty in that?
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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #28
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I think the curves and color of this building would match nicely with the Calvatra.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 02:45 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
i wasnt feeling very confident about the couture progressing, but NML building downtown may actually encourage a hotel to put a flag on the couture.
The Coulture may be held up for the time being but I'm very confident that it will be built. Here's breaking news from yesterday!

http://www.jsonline.com/business/nor...182259331.html

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. plans to build a new office tower, housing hundreds of employees, at its downtown Milwaukee campus and is seeking $48 million in city financing for the $300 million project.

The new building, with 840,000 square feet and more than 30 stories, would be among downtown's largest office buildings. It would replace Northwestern Mutual's 16-story building south of E. Mason St. and east of N. Cass St., and would be built at that location once the existing building is demolished, the company announced Wednesday.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #30
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Should have been a colour other than white. There's already a white tower...
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:43 PM   #31
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Very nice looking tower.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #32
Paule
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The current news:
http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2012/12/11...m_medium=email

"The proposed 44-story lakefront tower, The Couture, is still moving forward, now with the United States Department of Transportation’s blessing. Taffora provided an update to the County’s Committee on Economic and Community Development Monday morning. He noted that former Milwaukee County Director of Transportation Frank Busalacchi received a letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation approving the county’s plan to sell the land currently occupied by the Milwaukee County Downtown Transit Complex."

"While none of this news is surprising, it’s a sign that the deal is still alive. Still looming is the potential lawsuit over the legality of building on the site given its lakefront location (the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has ruled the site isn’t covered by the Wisconsin constitution’s public trust doctrine)."

With the DNR's ruling this lawsuit should be dead although it will hold things up for awhile yet.
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Last edited by Paule; December 13th, 2012 at 04:13 AM.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 04:23 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
Should have been a colour other than white. There's already a white tower...
Some of us think the samething, including me, but I don't think it's a bad thing. I would rather have something different than white though. What might really disturb me is if NML decides to design their new tower as an all white building. This building will be only a few blocks away from the Couture and basically across the street from the all white US Bank tower. Now we're talking trouble IMO.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 04:59 AM   #34
He Named Thor
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Good for Milwaukee! They're doing well lately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridy View Post
i wasnt feeling very confident about the couture progressing, but NML building downtown may actually encourage a hotel to put a flag on the couture. milwaukee is maxed out with high end hotels, so im scratching my head about who would occupy the hotel portion.

current "high end" hotels:
-hyatt regency
-pfister
-marriott (2013)
-powatami casino hotel (2014)
-hilton garden (nov. 1)
-metro
-intercontinental
-iron horse
-hilton

i'm not sure where the Element Hotel will rank on the spectrum, but there is yet for a luxury brand to enter the market.

-conrad hilton
-ritz-carlton
-st regis
-jw marriott
-four seasons
-w (westin)

as with any flag property, these luxury properties require a daily rate/occupancy and milwaukee has never had the demand. a company could justify the demand by guaranteeing a certain number of nights (aka. ritz carlton charlotte, nc + bank of america) but i highly doubt nml would have the need. i guess we'll see.
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Originally Posted by Eriol View Post
Also Sheraton.
No love for the Astor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
Should have been a colour other than white. There's already a white tower...
There are a couple white towers. The University Club tower is also white if I'm not mistaken. It's becoming a little overused in Milwaukee.

Port Washington's lighthouse would fit right in.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 05:18 AM   #35
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Remember that there are many ways to differentiate a building besides color. It is possible to have 5 white buildings that all look different due to design, lighting, etc. I am not worried at all about the design based on their recent comments.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 11:37 PM   #36
crusaderpat
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I think people tend to exaggerate the amount of tall white buildings in Milwaukee anyways. There are only 5-7 by my count(depending on what you consider white). The university club tower, the Cudahy tower, US bank, and that hidious building on E Wisconsin.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #37
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Quote:
Milwaukee County may be going to court to help spur the redevelopment of the Downtown Transit Center site, where developer Rick Barrett hopes to build apartments and a hotel overlooking Lake Michigan.

County Executive Chris Abele's administration is asking the County Board to authorize hiring the Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren law firm "to obtain legal certainty as it pertains to Milwaukee County’s legal right to develop" the site.

That's according to a memo to board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic from Julie Esch, county director of operations.

A resolution filed with the memo calls for board permission for the law firm to negotiate the issuing of title insurance to the property's potential buyer, and its lender.

It also calls for permission to file a lawsuit asking a judge to declare that the county has the legal right to sell the property, 909 E. Michigan St., for a private commercial use.

The law firm has been providing legal advice on the issue, and the resolution would increase that contract from $40,000 to $140,000.
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/189520201.html

And Betty Brinn Children's Museum is considering a move to the Couture.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/190901421.html
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Old June 5th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #38
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State proposes changing lakeshore definition to help Couture

Quote:
Under new legislation, downtown Milwaukee's historic lakeshore would be defined according to where it was set in 1913--an attempt to end questions about whether a private development can be built on the Downtown Transit Center site.

That provision was tucked into the proposed state budget which was recommended for approval early Wednesday morning by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee. The budget still needs approval from the Assembly and Senate, and Gov. Scott Walker.
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Old June 21st, 2013, 06:43 PM   #39
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The group opposing this project is now proposing that it be built in a different location to the South while the current proposed site be made into a park.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/212484211.html
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Old September 14th, 2013, 03:10 AM   #40
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Planning to start construction in early 2015

Quote:
Developer Rick Barrett said he has cleared legal issues surrounding his purchase of the Downtown Transit Center, marking a significant step forward for the 44-story Couture development.

Barrett said he plans to start construction in the first quarter of 2015 on the $160 million apartment and hotel tower on the site of the Downtown Transit Center at East Michigan Street on the downtown lakefront. Barrett’s comments came during The Business Journal’s Business of Growing Milwaukee event held Sept. 13.

The Couture would have 261 market-rate apartments, 153 rooms in a high-end hotel and 40,000 square feet of retail space.

Preserve Our Parks has challenged Barrett’s right to build a private project on the transit center site. The organization argues the land is former lakebed and protected by the state’s Public Trust Doctrine banning private projects on such land.

The prospect of a Preserve Our Parks lawsuit has slowed Barrett’s plans to buy the transit center site from Milwaukee County. However, Barrett said he has title companies willing to back and insure the land deal, removing that hurdle.

“We are weighing multiple title commitment proposals to ensure this property's title against any and all claims, including insuring over the public trust doctrine and any lakebed issues,” Barrett said.

The land sale still requires approval by Milwaukee County elected officials.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee...orward-as.html

Quote:
Developer Rick Barrett said he is planning to put a grocery store on the first two floors of his Couture project on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

Barrett also said that Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is the front-runner to operate the 153-room, four-and-one-half star hotel in the 44-story building.

Barrett’s comments came during The Business Journal’s Business of Growing Milwaukee discussion of development at the lakefront held Friday morning. Barrett said he has cleared a major hurdle to his purchase of the Downtown Transit Center from Milwaukee County to secure the site for the $160 million development.

“We think there’s a possibility we can put this project in the ground in the first quarter of 2015,” Barrett said. “We’re estimating the project build at 28 months.”

The Couture would have 40,000 square feet of retail space on its lower floors. The first two floors, overlooking the corner of East Michigan Street and North Lincoln Memorial Drive, would be a boutique-style grocery store, Barrett said. Multiple companies are in discussions for the space, he said.

Barrett said planned changes to the surrounding infrastructure, including extending Lincoln Memorial Drive into the 3rd Ward and moving two ramps on the Lake Interchange, improve the prospects for a grocery.

“We feel that would be an outstanding fit at that location with the two freeway spurs coming down,” Barrett said. “With the opening of the 3rd Ward district, we feel a food shopping location there would be very desirable, as well as anyone working in the office towers getting a call from one’s wife, saying, ‘Can you pick up some stuff?’ You don’t have to jump in your car to go get it.”

Barrett said he is in talks with three potential ownership groups that are poised to run the hotel portion of the Couture. The most likely operator, he said, is Starwood Hotels, based in Lancaster, Calif. Barrett said he cannot disclose the hotel brand.

Starwood runs hotels under several franchises, including St. Regis, W Hotels and Le Méridien Hotels. The operator one year ago was in discussions with Jackson Street Management LLC, Milwaukee, to run an Element Hotel proposed in the Park East corridor.
http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee....html?page=all

The updated renderings look even better.

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016231/transitcenterconcept07.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016161/transitcenterconcept02.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016171/transitcenterconcept04.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016241/transitcenterconcept11.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016211/transitcenterconcept06.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016261/transitcenterconcept1/.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016181/transitcenterconcept03.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016191/transitcenterconcept05.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://***************/view/img/1016221/transitcenterconcept08.jpg[/IMG]
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