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Old July 19th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #2001
ajknee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyking2 View Post
Where the hell is this going?! Why are we wasting good "ink and paper" even discussing an observation tower?!! Jeeeez.
What, you don't think Milwaukee could support an observation tower? There's that low self-esteem that Milwaukeeans severely suffer from again. We need to work on that as a city.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #2002
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Originally Posted by ajknee View Post
What, you don't think Milwaukee could support an observation tower? There's that low self-esteem that Milwaukeeans severely suffer from again. We need to work on that as a city.
At least I'm not the only one that notices that.....

Although an observation tower along Wisconsin Ave. would be...well...in the wrong spot. If you wanted one it should be along the Lake. But that's just my opinion.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #2003
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Originally Posted by brewcityfan View Post
At least I'm not the only one that notices that.....

Although an observation tower along Wisconsin Ave. would be...well...in the wrong spot. If you wanted one it should be along the Lake. But that's just my opinion.
Thanks for the support, Brew. I agree that the Ghazi site is probably not the best. I just threw it out there. I think the Park East would be best, actually. I get chills thinking about what the view would look like from Reservoir Park with a tower right in the center. Anyway, this is all wishful thinking. I don't think an observation tower is out of the question though.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #2004
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I would like an observation tower and I think it would work. there was supposed to be one in the original plans for Lakeshore Park.

But, how fast can you say "NIMBY"?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:43 PM   #2005
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I believe that the tv tower is used by channel 58, or at least it used to be...
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:03 PM   #2006
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Originally Posted by Milwaukee, WY View Post
I believe that the tv tower is used by channel 58, or at least it used to be...
Is that channel even in existence anymore?
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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #2007
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Talk about a nice Christmas present....

Quote:
30-story Park East tower wins zoning approval
Development would combine hotel, condos, retail space
By TOM DAYKIN
[email protected]
Posted: July 19, 2007
A $73 million, 30-story development planned for the southwest corner of W. Juneau Ave. and N. Old World 3rd St. received zoning approval Thursday from the city Redevelopment Authority.

The project, dubbed The Moderne, needed authority approval to go higher than 12 stories. Under the city's redevelopment plan for Park East, the authority may grant height variances within the area without Common Council approval.

Delegating that approval to the authority, whose members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council, is troubling to Ald. Robert Bauman, whose district includes The Moderne site.

Bauman told the authority's board that he's heard concerns from some downtown residents about the height of The Moderne, which would feature a 120-room Element Hotel, 80 condominiums and 16,000 square feet of retail space.

Bauman supports the 30-story height but said the council should have approval power over such matters. Ald. Willie Wade, the only alderman on the board, echoed his comments.

After the meeting, developer Rick Barrett said the zoning approval would help his efforts to gain bank financing for the project.

A Wednesday vote by the council's Public Works Committee also helps that effort, Barrett said.

The committee is recommending that the Department of Public Works be allowed to negotiate the leasing of parking spaces in city-owned parking structures to private companies.

Barrett hopes to lease 100 parking spaces in the neighboring city-owned parking structure; those spaces would be for hotel guests. That 900-space parking structure is across N. 4th St. from the Bradley Center.

Barrett hopes to begin construction by November. He isn't seeking city financial assistance, saying the project can be done entirely with private financing. The Moderne would take 18 to 24 months to complete.

The condos would be offered for a wide price range, from about $250,000 for one-bedroom units to $1.4 million for penthouses. A sales center for the condos is to open soon.
Also noted, Alderman Bauman is extremely concerning me. So far, he seems to be hinting around to frowning on this project as well, because of "some neighbor concerns." To Mr. Bauman - the project is in DOWNTOWN Milwaukee. The "neighbors" should realize that if they buy a condo or rent an apartment there, high rise buildings being proposed are to be expected! It's almost a DUH moment.....

Oh, and why is there a 12-story limit? The article notes he needed special approval just to go above that height. Is there something wrong in this city or is it just me? The Third Ward: 14 story height. The area around the Moderne: 12 story height?? WHAT?!
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #2008
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The new Park East master plan, assembled as the freeway spur was being torn down, envisioned a series of mid-rise buildings being developed along the demolition path, with perhaps a 20-story tower at either end. The request for an adjustment in the plan to accommodate the 30-story Moderne is simply a case of market realities playing an influential role in the revision of that plan.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideliner View Post
The new Park East master plan, assembled as the freeway spur was being torn down, envisioned a series of mid-rise buildings being developed along the demolition path, with perhaps a 20-story tower at either end. The request for an adjustment in the plan to accommodate the 30-story Moderne is simply a case of market realities playing an influential role in the revision of that plan.
I don't know if I'm supposed to be saying AMEN! or DAMNIT! to that. For Milwaukee to only expect buildings smaller than 20 stories in its downtown area is a bit disturbing. They're not really going for those high goals these days.....
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Old July 20th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewcityfan View Post
I don't know if I'm supposed to be saying AMEN! or DAMNIT! to that. For Milwaukee to only expect buildings smaller than 20 stories in its downtown area is a bit disturbing. They're not really going for those high goals these days.....
It's not that there is no expectation of taller buildings. It is that the Council and DCD want design control over taller buildings. If a 30-story building was permitted by zoning, the developer could build a schlocky building as a matter of right. By putting a 12-story limit in place, any major building has to go to the City for a variance. Granting that variance gives the City leverage to demand a good design.

In the case of the Moderne, they had a good design and were therefore granted the variance. It is as simple as that. Zoning can be used to prevent bad buildings from getting built.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #2011
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Originally Posted by MilwaukeeD View Post
It's not that there is no expectation of taller buildings. It is that the Council and DCD want design control over taller buildings. If a 30-story building was permitted by zoning, the developer could build a schlocky building as a matter of right. By putting a 12-story limit in place, any major building has to go to the City for a variance. Granting that variance gives the City leverage to demand a good design.

In the case of the Moderne, they had a good design and were therefore granted the variance. It is as simple as that. Zoning can be used to prevent bad buildings from getting built.
You got a point there.....I concede!
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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #2012
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Ran across this today:
-----------------------
FRIDAY, July 20, 2007, 11:34 a.m.
By Tom Daykin

Park East developer drops funding request
The developer of a controversial project proposed for Milwaukee's Park East area has decided not to pursue city financial assistance, and is scaling back his plans.

Richard Curto, who operates Chicago-based RSC & Associates Inc., is dropping much of the 81,400 square feet of retail space that was part of the first phase of his development, known as Park East Square.

Curto said Thursday that the changes will help reduce the size of the project's proposed parking structure. Much of the city financing was sought to pay for the parking structure.

A 148-room Hyatt Place boutique hotel and apartments remain in the works for Park East Square, Curto said. But the plans are in flux.


Wow it is in fact possible to build a hotel and apartments in downtown Milwaukee without a TIF???
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #2013
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Watch the city still complains and denies them approvals.....
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Old July 20th, 2007, 11:59 PM   #2014
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Well of course the city (I think we are talking about DCD) is still going to do their best to influence the design of this project. (that's kinda their job you know)
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Old July 21st, 2007, 12:07 AM   #2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sideliner View Post
The new Park East master plan, assembled as the freeway spur was being torn down, envisioned a series of mid-rise buildings being developed along the demolition path, with perhaps a 20-story tower at either end. The request for an adjustment in the plan to accommodate the 30-story Moderne is simply a case of market realities playing an influential role in the revision of that plan.
I have to question why that parcel is even part of the Park East. It wasn't that block where the freeway spur used to be.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 12:19 AM   #2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paule
I have to question why that parcel is even part of the Park East. It wasn't that block where the freeway spur used to be.
As we've been through before, on numerous occasions, the Park East Redevelopment Plan includes zoning rules and design guidelinesfor the redevelopment of not only the former freeway blocks, but also the adjacent vacant/underutilized blocks that stood nearby the old freeway. That is why the Moderne site is included.

Last edited by Markitect; July 21st, 2007 at 12:25 AM.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:32 AM   #2017
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Taken from the new Lakeshore State Park:

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Old July 23rd, 2007, 07:52 AM   #2018
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Billboard tarnishes a gem?

Billboard tarnishes a gem
July 22, 2007

Whitney Gould


If I were not a law-abiding citizen, it would be deliciously tempting to go out and buy a cutting torch and, in the dead of night, chop down the monster billboard that has lately reared its ugly visage near the north end of the beautiful 6th St. Viaduct. Failing that, I'm just going to summon up the ghost of Lady Bird Johnson and hope that her gentle spirit will somehow make this roadside eyesore vanish.

OK, back to reality. The 90-foot-high, three-sided sign is here to stay. For maybe as long as 30 years. So get used to it.

If you're wondering why the prospect is so alarming, head west from the lakefront on I-794. On your left, the huge sign all but obscures the elegant, cabled pylons for the all-white viaduct, which is perhaps Milwaukee's proudest work of contemporary infrastructure - a place-making gateway to the Menomonee Valley and the south side.

Equally dismaying, the billboard (currently hawking Budweiser beer, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Landmark on the Lake condos) clumsily tries to mimic the viaduct's design: The triangular behemoth perches atop three muscular, white pylons that bow inward; it sprouts a cabled, tepee-like headdress. It's a case study in how great architecture gets cheapened.

"It looks like a missile launcher," said one disgusted reader who, like several others, wondered how this thing came about.Billboard



Photo/Tom Lynn

A three-sided billboard along the east side of the 6th Street Viaduct imitates some of the details of the viaduct. But the sign blocks some views of the viaduct from the freeway. The sign advertises Landmark on the Lake condos, Northwestern Mutual Life and Budweiser.


Here's what Joe Maassen, an attorney for the state Department of Transportation, told me:

When the DOT demolished the Allied Glove plant at W. St. Paul Ave. and N. 5th St. to make way for expansion of the Marquette Interchange, the sign atop that building also came down. But Clear Channel Outdoor, which owned the sign, had a long-term contract for it and was allowed to put up a new billboard. (Maassen thought the contract was for about 20 years; a Clear Channel spokesman says it's actually closer to 30.)

Why not just buy out the contract?

"We could have done that, but it would have literally been in the millions of dollars," Maassen said, adding that it was the city that pushed Clear Channel to erect a successor with some "architectural pizzazz," to complement the viaduct and the emerging glassy remake of the nearby Amtrak station.

Bob Greenstreet, the city planning director, confirmed that.

"We wanted something other than a big ugly post with a sign hanging off it," and this design, he said, was the best of a half-dozen or so prototypes floated by Clear Channel and the sign-maker, Poblocki.

"It looks better than what was there before, but it's not where we want to be with billboards," Greenstreet added.

I couldn't reach the designer at Poblocki, but Dan Pomeroy, Clear Channel's manager of real estate and public affairs, told me that transplanting the $500,000 sign somewhere else wasn't feasible.

"Where else would we relocate it to?" he asked. "We're subject to federal and state spacing laws and local regulations. To get the same traffic and exposure, it's difficult to find a commercial location like this. We're a business, and we don't want to be put out of business."

As for the design, "we tried our best," Pomeroy said. "I don't know how we could have built it differently."

Well, not building it at all would have been my first choice.
Market to rescue?

The second best hope might be that as St. Paul Ave. rejuvenates, and the DOT returns the rest of the former Allied Glove property to the marketplace, the billboard will get bought out by private developers; there's already some talk of a putting a mixed-use building there, including a parking garage. The city and state, which have both sunk millions of dollars into the stylish viaduct and the Amtrak station makeover, surely ought to encourage a billboard-free scenario for that strip as a way to protect the taxpayers' investment.

Meanwhile, Greenstreet expects that an updated sign ordinance now in the works will help head off similar headaches - for example, allowing billboards on busy commercial strips and reducing their size or eliminating them altogether in more sensitive locations.

Keep your fingers crossed. Love 'em or hate 'em, billboards are a legitimate form of advertising - my own employer has used them on occasion - and in the right places they can be festive, funny and even artful; think of Times Square in Manhattan.

But when they mar memorable scenery, whether it's natural or man-made, these giant signs send a message of monumental tackiness. Can advertisers really want that?

E-mail to [email protected] or call (414) 224-2358.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 05:38 PM   #2019
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I've been out of town for the past week, so I haven't really been up to date with the goings-ons in the city. But I saw a photo of that billboard and literally said, out loud, 'what the ****?' That is just terrible.





It's like, 'Revenge of the first Pier Wisconsin proposal.'
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 10:57 PM   #2020
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Say cheese
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