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Old December 20th, 2006, 04:52 AM   #1
i_am_hydrogen
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Milwaukee Development News

...continued from the previous thread.

A link to the old thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=403458


by MilwaukeeMark
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:43 AM   #2
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Damn, there's an active Milwaukee contingent on here.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #3
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LOL agreed! It's like, some kind of "movement" or something...anyway, go get 'em Milwaukee.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:38 AM   #4
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I'm just glad to see that there actually ARE people that care about the city and its surroundings! Besides me, of course

Does Milwaukee have the most threads??
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:39 AM   #5
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Honestly, most of the posts about milwaukee are gossip or chatter, not real information.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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Well, doesn't that just degrade the whole thread.... lol
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Old December 20th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlerontheruf View Post
Honestly, most of the posts about milwaukee are gossip or chatter, not real information.
Please. Thats just shows the strong Milwaukee crowd represented here, and in turn, results in a lot of posts not necessarily containing new information, but containing opinions about current developments. This presents the opportunity to participate in a wide array of discussions. I like visiting SSC and consistently seeing this thread on the top. If anything, we should be proud its frequented as often as is. The Milwaukee threads are hardly full of mindless chatter. Almost every post is relevant to the thread topic, these first few obviously not included.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #8
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The chief speaks out.

Independence will save Midwest, chief says

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=543625
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Old December 20th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #9
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Thanks, hydrogen, for starting the thread with my picture. I feel honored. I got the first post without posting! Haha...

Anyway, I was at Pier Wisconsin last night and took a rather stupid video of fish swimming around in the tunnel aquarium. Thought I'd post it for those who haven't been there yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSCAUEvHtNQ

By the way, hydrogen, are you a phish fan by chance?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlerontheruf View Post
Honestly, most of the posts about milwaukee are gossip or chatter, not real information.
In a sense, isn't that what these forums are for, to discuss our opinions of projects and potential projects? It isn't as though people are going to change the world with an internet forum. If you want to see real gossip and idle chatter, go take a look at the Chicago or Burj Dubai forums and find the about 1000 posts by megatower obsessing over what the highest occupied floors of Chicago Spire and Burj Dubai will be.

The Milwaukee forumers do a very nice job in their threads actually.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #11
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The Milwaukee section of this forum is a lot of "chatter," and some gossip. But right now in Milwaukee there is a lot to chatter and gossip about. We have a whole series of major developments in the pipeline, that, when taken together, have the potential to transform this city. Already the developments that have been completed in the last five years have changed Milwaukee. Those of who love this city and are passionate about it (and I'm glad to see I'm far from the only one) want to talk about what's happening in our city.

Go down the list and you'll see that while Milwaukee isn't poised to build a 90 story tower any time soon, we have whole swaths of redevelopment are giving the city a whole new character: what's happening in the Park East corridor alone could keep an entire thread busy for years. Throw in Commerce Street, Walkers Point (I refuse to call it "The Fifth Ward"), redevelopment in the Meno. Valley, the Pabst project, the great potential that will be realized around the redeveloped train station, continued development on the East Side, Bay View, Riverwest, etc. and I think it's no surprise that us Milwaukee forumers post a lot.

But it's not a completely rosy scenario. Our city faces huge challenges ... our economy has shifted from manufacturing to service economy, but the economy has left half the city behind. Schools continue to stagnate. Crime is on the rise. Huge swaths of the city are mired in hopelessness and despair. One thing I love about Milwaukee is that we can be boosterish about our city while still confronting these issues rather than downplaying them or sweeping them under the rug. That's another reason the Milwaukee threads are so active. We talk almost as much about the negative as we do the positive.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilwaukeeMark View Post
Thanks, hydrogen, for starting the thread with my picture. I feel honored. I got the first post without posting! Haha...

Anyway, I was at Pier Wisconsin last night and took a rather stupid video of fish swimming around in the tunnel aquarium. Thought I'd post it for those who haven't been there yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSCAUEvHtNQ

By the way, hydrogen, are you a phish fan by chance?
What is the state of Pier Wisconsin these days? My wife and I went, very excitedly, a few weekends after it opened. We were very disappointed with its present state. The exhibits were scarce, and unlabeled. You basically had no idea what you were looking at. Nothing to "learn" basically. The aquariums looked awesome, but again, no plaques or anything. The petting tank was murky and uneventful. It has tons of promise, but we thought they definitely rushed the opening. We're curious as to when we should give it another shot.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukeeunseen View Post
The Milwaukee section of this forum is a lot of "chatter," and some gossip. But right now in Milwaukee there is a lot to chatter and gossip about. We have a whole series of major developments in the pipeline, that, when taken together, have the potential to transform this city. Already the developments that have been completed in the last five years have changed Milwaukee. Those of who love this city and are passionate about it (and I'm glad to see I'm far from the only one) want to talk about what's happening in our city.

Go down the list and you'll see that while Milwaukee isn't poised to build a 90 story tower any time soon, we have whole swaths of redevelopment are giving the city a whole new character: what's happening in the Park East corridor alone could keep an entire thread busy for years. Throw in Commerce Street, Walkers Point (I refuse to call it "The Fifth Ward"), redevelopment in the Meno. Valley, the Pabst project, the great potential that will be realized around the redeveloped train station, continued development on the East Side, Bay View, Riverwest, etc. and I think it's no surprise that us Milwaukee forumers post a lot.

But it's not a completely rosy scenario. Our city faces huge challenges ... our economy has shifted from manufacturing to service economy, but the economy has left half the city behind. Schools continue to stagnate. Crime is on the rise. Huge swaths of the city are mired in hopelessness and despair. One thing I love about Milwaukee is that we can be boosterish about our city while still confronting these issues rather than downplaying them or sweeping them under the rug. That's another reason the Milwaukee threads are so active. We talk almost as much about the negative as we do the positive.
I couldn't agree with you more. Actually, a lot of the forums have that "chatter" and gossip about new developments. I was impressed when I was reading the Indianapolis forum last night - they're practically having a similar panic attack like we just had when Midwest was/is threatened by an AirTran takeover - but for them its their new convention center hotel. And they're actually writing letters to the mayor!!

Chatter and gossip among like-minded people bring forth new ideas and unity among the forums many threads, which I personally like.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooMer_MP3 View Post
What is the state of Pier Wisconsin these days? My wife and I went, very excitedly, a few weekends after it opened. We were very disappointed with its present state. The exhibits were scarce, and unlabeled. You basically had no idea what you were looking at. Nothing to "learn" basically. The aquariums looked awesome, but again, no plaques or anything. The petting tank was murky and uneventful. It has tons of promise, but we thought they definitely rushed the opening. We're curious as to when we should give it another shot.
Yes, give it another shot. It's still "under construction" in the sense that they're continually opening new exhibits in both the Discovery World and Aquarium sections but there is a LOT more to see and do now than there was at the onset. I most definitely agree with you that they rushed the opening. Things seem to be running more smooth now though.

In the Discovery World section, they've got a number of interactive exhibits up and running. You can ride a Segway, lie on a bed of nails, get a professional photo taken of you (or your family), make foam cut-outs to take home (dragonfly, sailboats, etc.), use a machine to cut out and fold tote bags (lunchboxes will be available soon as well) from cardboard, amongst other things. There are exhibits that let you pull up your own body weight, others that demonstrate the importance of leverage and pulley systems, and all kinds of cool little activity-centered options to keep you busy.

The aquarium section is nearly complete. The touch tank you described now has rocks at the bottom and is a little more visually stimulating. They've added a carribean reef tank to the mix as well. There are a lot more fish in all the tanks and the experience is definitely an eye-full.

The digital theater is still under construction but I anticipate them opening it up very, very shortly. It'll definitely be a sight to behold when it opens. The digital theater is a rounded glass wall that overlooks the lake and the new state park. When the "movie" starts, the image is projected within the glass and you can no longer see outside... it's really a marvel of engineering. In the meantime, the normal movie theater is open and running various movies all the time. I watched a fascinating show about the coral reef the other day...

The Pilot House is completely finished and open to the public. The docks are also open and you can walk all the way around the building. Under construction still is the breakwater but that's a separate thing from the building itself.

All-in-all, I feel as though it's an absolutely amazing place. I bought a membership right off the bat and have since gone back five times. Every time I go back, new things are added and old exhibits have moved on. So, please give it another chance... I'm sure you will not be disappointed.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #15
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But it's not a completely rosy scenario. Our city faces huge challenges ... our economy has shifted from manufacturing to service economy, but the economy has left half the city behind. Schools continue to stagnate. Crime is on the rise. Huge swaths of the city are mired in hopelessness and despair. One thing I love about Milwaukee is that we can be boosterish about our city while still confronting these issues rather than downplaying them or sweeping them under the rug. That's another reason the Milwaukee threads are so active. We talk almost as much about the negative as we do the positive.
You're right, Milwaukee does have its share of issues to deal with. One of them is the high unemployment rate in the inner city. But there are now a couple of innovative and creative programs that help match up prospective job applicants with decent paying jobs through fast-track skills training. Here are a couple great articles from today's J/S that tell about these two success stories:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=543627
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=543626
The thing I love about these "developments" is that you have business leaders, community development leaders, and educational leaders working together to solve a serious problem, unemployment and a shortage of a skilled workforce. Great job Milwaukee. Keep it going.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #16
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By the way, hydrogen, are you a phish fan by chance?
Guilty as charged.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 12:42 AM   #17
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That picture by MilwaukeeMark is wild ! The shines, glitters and reflections
look fabulous! Nice City...!
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Old December 21st, 2006, 06:28 AM   #18
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Does Milwaukee have the most threads??
Baltimore is on it's 18th development news thread. I've told them before that they gab like a bunch of old ladies at a bridge party. Buffalo forumers are also prolific posters.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 07:30 AM   #19
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Luxury hotel called boost for downtown

San Francisco-based chain to use Sydney Hih site
By TOM DAYKIN
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Posted: Dec. 20, 2006
Kimpton Hotels, known for its luxury boutique hotels in Chicago, New York and other cities, will operate a new hotel planned for Milwaukee's Park East area - which could greatly elevate the downtown hospitality market.

Kimpton was named operator for a 180-room hotel planned as part of a $104 million mixed-use development. That project, which includes condominiums, offices and shops, will be developed on the mostly vacant block bordered by N. Old World 3rd and N. 4th streets, and W. Juneau and W. McKinley avenues.

The hotel will incorporate the Sydney Hih building, which is located on the site, and the former Gipfel brewery, which local developer Robert Ruvin plans to move to the block and renovate.

Ruvin and Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corp. plan to begin construction on the mixed-use development by late 2007. The County Board agreed in September to sell the parcel to Ruvin and Gatehouse, which have since been conducting soil tests and lining up financing for the project.

Open by 2009
San Francisco-based Kimpton, which operates 43 hotels, plans to have the Milwaukee hotel open by late 2009, said Jim Alderman, senior vice president for acquisitions and development.

Alderman said Wednesday that the hotel, which is yet unnamed, will carry all of the Kimpton hallmarks: luxurious furnishings, an "intense" level of customer service and rates that occupy the upper end of the market. He said the average daily rate will likely be over $180.

Kimpton's hotels include three Chicago properties: Hotel Monaco, Hotel Burnham and Hotel Allegro. Alderman said Kimpton is expanding rapidly because of heavy demand from its customers who travel extensively, especially for business.

"We now are starting to extend our reach a little beyond the core cities," Alderman said.

San Francisco-based Kimpton has 10 hotels under construction, and 15 more projects - including the Milwaukee property - in the development pipeline.

High-end niche
Milwaukee, Alderman said, has plenty of hotel rooms but "not a lot of high-end boutique" rooms. He said Kimpton will fill that niche, and said other high-end operators are considering the downtown market.

Plans by Manpower Inc. to move its global headquarters from Glendale to downtown is among the positive developments that are drawing attention from high-end hotel operators, Alderman said. He also praised the downtown night life, and compared its restaurants and clubs to those in Chicago and Dallas.

"I was actually shocked to see how lively your night scene is in Milwaukee," Alderman said. "It's all building up to having a hotel match up with them."

Kimpton's commitment to the project "brings a whole new dynamic to downtown Milwaukee," said Greg Hanis, a hotel industry consultant based in Pewaukee.

"Wow! That's stunning," Hanis said upon hearing the news.

Kimpton is well known for running high-end hotels, said Hanis, who operates Hospitality Marketers Inc. He said a Kimpton in downtown Milwaukee would be "a leap" above the current high-end operators, which include the Pfister Hotel, Hotel Metro and Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.

Hanis said the Kimpton will market itself to corporate travelers drawn by such companies as Manpower, Rockwell Inc. and Harley-Davidson Inc. He said local businesses looking to impress clients will pay for their rooms at the Kimpton property.

20-story development
The hotel will be the centerpiece of the 20-story Ruvin/Gatehouse development. Gatehouse has developed other high-end hotels, including a Joule Hotel in Dallas that is operated by Kimpton.

"Kimpton is the first brand of many to be revealed for this project," said Marty Collins, Gatehouse chief executive officer, in a statement. Other brands, he said, will be tied to the project's ground-floor retail, restaurant, bar, fitness center and a "rooftop entertainment venue."

Kimpton's hotels tend to have different names in different cities. In New York, its properties include the Muse Hotel, and in Boston, it operates the Nine Zero Hotel.

Might the Milwaukee hotel by named for the Sydney Hih Building, or the former Gipfel brewery?

"We're not sure," Ruvin said. "But we promise it will be interesting."

Other projects
The Ruvin/Gatehouse project's preliminary plans include 70 condos, 55,000 square feet of offices and a 330-car parking structure.

It is among several big developments moving forward in the 64-acre Park East area, which includes 16 acres made available after the former Park East Freeway was razed.

The Common Council last week approved city financial assistance for The North End, a $175 million project with nearly 500 housing units planned for the site of the former Pfister & Vogel tannery, which will be demolished.

The council also approved funding for the planned $205 million transformation of the former Pabst brewery into housing, offices and shops. The Pabst site is technically outside the Park East area. But the redevelopment area's western border abuts the Pabst property.

Other projects include Park East Square, a plan for hotels, apartments and stores on two empty blocks bordered by N. Jefferson St., N. Broadway, E. Lyon St. and E. Ogden Ave.

From the Dec. 21, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Old December 21st, 2006, 08:14 AM   #20
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Sounds like good news to me! I'm not in the hospitality industry, nor know much about it, but it seems that for PE, the bar is being set high from the get go.
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