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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #781
historybuffer
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Hey don't shoot the messenger, this is the internet there is a global audience here and they need to know all the sides of the issue.
I'm not one (Mr. Marcus) out there with Mayor Barrett protesting that some developers want help (public financing) with the Park East. This is the very same Marcus that told the city of Madison--Mayor Soglin that if he didn't get public money (corporate welfare for the Hilton) he would not build his little hotel by Monona Terrace.

And you are...?
Why do I have to answer to you regarding what I am doing in this city?

Marcus' hypocritical actions are in public domain,
enough said.

Last edited by historybuffer; March 15th, 2007 at 04:44 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #782
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historybuffer View Post
Marcus' hypocritical actions are in public domain,
enough said.
And so are your obvious rageaholic smears.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #783
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I've got no problem with developers making bank. Every city in the United States was built through countless real estate deals. Every single one of these real estate deals was entered into by people looking to make money. The only time cities have been built by people not looking to make money was in the old Soviet Union. Take a trip to the circle of cities Stalin built around Moscow and you can see how well that experiment turned out.

I'm also not surprised when a developer lobbies a local government to not give TIF support to an opposing developer's hotel project, when they themselves have gotten public financing. I'm not shocked by this because this is capitalistic behavior. It's not "nice" but it's the way things are done.

But I would have a problem if the Mayor and council refused public financing to other hotel projects and went ahead and gave it to a Marcus project. There is no evidence that this is going to happen.

I also have a problem with the dominant hotel developer in an area interfering with the market by changing their room rates so that rival developers have more trouble landing financing. This is something I have "heard" Marcus does but I'll leave it up the to the courts and other people more aware than me to decide.

I also have a problem with a developer sitting on prime real estate in the middle of the Downtown, letting it lie idle, bringing down the whole area around it while he or she "decides" what to do with it. This is where local government can and should step in with incentives to make things happen with the real estate. The City of Milwaukee should get busy on this and nudge Marcus to make something happen with the Grand Theater on Wisconsin Avenue.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #784
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If you (rightly) have no problem with your first two premises, I'm not sure why even the "rumored" practices would be so bothersome--and think for a moment about the possible sources of such a story; anyway, we're not talking mafia coercion or corruption here, or even true monopoly control.
Also, be careful what you wish for: Letting the Grand lie idle has also preserved it; it just might not survive a serious highest-and-best-use analysis.
In any event, thanks MKNSN for steering these matters back to a civil track.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 09:40 PM   #785
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looksee View Post
If you (rightly) have no problem with your first two premises, I'm not sure why even the "rumored" practices would be so bothersome--and think for a moment about the possible sources of such a story; anyway, we're not talking mafia coercion or corruption here, or even true monopoly control.
Also, be careful what you wish for: Letting the Grand lie idle has also preserved it; it just might not survive a serious highest-and-best-use analysis.
In any event, thanks MKNSN for steering these matters back to a civil track.
No true monopoly control?? My friend, how can you even say that Marcus has no control over the downtown hotel market when they own all the biggest hotels - the Milwaukee Hilton, the Pfister, the InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel. Its amazing that Ruvin even is attempting to build 2 hotels in the first place in the same area. Marcus saw that instantly as competition - the Kimpton would be for the InterContinental, the Aloft would be for the Hilton. While it might not be "mafia coercion" or corruption, it sure could be labeled as a possible monopoly status.

Letting the Grand lie idle (and I didn't even know Marcus owned this property) only makes that section of Wisconsin Ave - Milwaukee's business corridor basically - look old and unusable. I would definitely for future purchases impose a rule for redevelopment within a certain period of time. For some cases, it definitely could be useful.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #786
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I just noticed that they have begun to move the old Gipfel Brewery building today, Which will be part of Ruvin's development.....
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Old March 15th, 2007, 10:19 PM   #787
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If Marcus is indeed dominant downtown, it's because they had the faith and vision to risk investment and expansion in a Milwaukee hotel market that every one else was either ignoring -- the owners of the Hyatt have avoided a planned expansion for decades -- or abandoned -- who will remember the Hotel Wisconsin? Putting good non-governmental money downtown, and lots of it, was a risk essentially no one else was willing to take. And there were absolutely, positively no guarantees of success in these ventures. There would be practically no first class hotel rooms at all in the city if it weren't for the committment and business acumen of the leaders of Marcus.
I'm no apologist for Marcus; if they're doing something unsavory, let them take their lumps. But don't be so quick to tar and bash them either. Their names are also attached to public institutions above and below downtown that their generosity also helped preserve from oblivion. Let's keep things in perspective and give credit where it's due.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #788
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looksee View Post
If you (rightly) have no problem with your first two premises, I'm not sure why even the "rumored" practices would be so bothersome--and think for a moment about the possible sources of such a story; anyway, we're not talking mafia coercion or corruption here, or even true monopoly control.
I'm not going to post on here stuff that I heard from a reliable source (at least I think they are reliable) that I cannot verify through a non-interested third party. But it is public knowledge that the Grand Theater is woefully underused, and I think it's a drag on the whole western half of Downtown Milwaukee. If there is ever a time for the City to act agressively to encourage the development of a catalytic project, this is it. 'Sall I'm sayin'.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 12:16 AM   #789
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I just noticed that they have begun to move the old Gipfel Brewery building today, Which will be part of Ruvin's development.....
This is good news -- the first tangible sign of progress on that site. Ruvin's development will be a catalyst for the Park East, and will set a new standard for design in the city. I'm excited.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #790
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It's interesting that the Grand comes up. People often bring up the Grand but rarely the huge swaths of vacant land that WisconsinElectric Energy is holding on the west side of downtown. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with what you all are saying but if there was a place where the city should act, I'd say it's the totally vacant half block that they are holding between 2nd and 3rd along Wells as well as the half block they turned into a parking lot along 2nd between Michigan and Clybourn. If anything, these two lots are stopping development on the west side of downtown. A major project on Wells would spark infill and renovations from Old World 3rd down to the Grand Ave.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 06:08 AM   #791
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This is unexpected???

Milwaukee to host McDonald's All American Games 2008
biztimes.com

Milwaukee was unveiled today as the city to host the 2008 McDonald's All American High School Basketball Boys and Girls Games.
The games will be played at the Bradley Center in March 2008. The McDonald's All American Games are nationally recognized as the premier showcase for the top high school basketball talent in the country.
Annually, 24 boys and 24 girls are selected from a pool of more than 2,500 nominees nationwide. The players will not only become part of the long-standing tradition of the games, but will also raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities
(RMHC) of Wisconsin.
The game selection committee, chaired by hall-of-fame bound coach Morgan Wootten, retired head coach of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., selects the final team members in mid-February.
Former UCLA coach John Wooden, who has been involved in the McDonald's All American Games since its inception, serves as honorary chairman of the games and as an advisor to the selection committee.
Notable alumni of the game include Milwaukee Bucks players Dan Gadzuric and Mo Williams, and current and former NBA stars Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James; NCAA men's stars Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Julian Wright and Arron Afflalo; and NCAA women's stars Candace Parker, Ivory Latta and Courtney Paris.

for those who think this doesn't mean anything, this is a very widely publicized event with many spectators and viewers on ESPN
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Old March 16th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #792
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Also unexpected is the hotel choice of Ghazi for their downtown development!
Quote:
Downtown housing/entertainment complex pitched
Proposal is second to include Aloft Hotel
By TOM DAYKIN
[email protected]
Posted: March 15, 2007
A developer who hopes to build a $120 million housing, hotel, office and entertainment complex near downtown Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center said Thursday that his tenants could include several destination restaurants and nighttime attractions.

Afshin Ghazi said another mixed-use development, which his firm, Ghazi Co., is building in Charlotte, N.C., includes a Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, Fox Sports Grill and a five-screen movie theater. Ghazi said he will seek similar retailers for the proposed Milwaukee development.

In addition, Ghazi said he's spoken with representatives of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. about a possible 175-room Aloft Hotel at the development, which would be south of W. Wisconsin Ave. and west of N. 4th St.

Starwood also is considering a proposed hotel and office development, north of W. Juneau Ave. and east of N. Old World 3rd St., for an Aloft Hotel. That development, announced last week by local developer Robert Ruvin and Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corp., will include the headquarters for Cramer-Krasselt, an advertising firm.

Ghazi spoke after the Redevelopment Authority recommended his Charlotte-based firm receive a purchase option for the city-owned site on Wisconsin Ave. The option gives Ghazi time to seek tenants and try to assemble financing.

The 31-story development would include 200 housing units, the hotel and 100,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and office space.

Ghazi Co.'s other projects include Charlotte's EpiCentre, with a 53-story, 414-unit condo tower; a 175-room Aloft Hotel, and 300,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and office space. EpiCentre is being built near the headquarters for two major bank holding companies: Bank of America Corp. and Wachovia Corp.
So which one will Starwood pick? I think Ghazi's, due to previous developments and a bigger building/high attraction site. But then, what hotel would fill in the other?? Oh boy....
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Old March 16th, 2007, 07:38 AM   #793
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W hotel in one, aloft in another
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Old March 16th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #794
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W hotel in one, aloft in another
That would be awesome. Too bad Ghazi didn't offer the W Hotel at his development.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 05:02 PM   #795
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Another thing to talk about today - GREAT news (once again) for the Chase parking structure. It was on the Biz Journal report on Fox 6 last night. It will be 24 stories.

http://www.myfoxmilwaukee.com/myfox/...Y&pageId=4.1.1
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Old March 16th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #796
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Another thing to talk about today - GREAT news (once again) for the Chase parking structure. It was on the Biz Journal report on Fox 6 last night. It will be 24 stories.

http://www.myfoxmilwaukee.com/myfox/...Y&pageId=4.1.1
Total of 29 stories when the floors of the parking structure are added in. I work in the Chase tower and the new owners really have their stuff together.. very impressed.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 05:12 PM   #797
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Quote:
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Another thing to talk about today - GREAT news (once again) for the Chase parking structure. It was on the Biz Journal report on Fox 6 last night. It will be 24 stories.

http://www.myfoxmilwaukee.com/myfox/...Y&pageId=4.1.1
According to today's Milwaukee Business Journal, the structure will be 24 stories on top of the existing 5 floors of parking, for a total of 29 floors. One of the ugliest structures in Downtown Milwaukee is (finally) pencilled in for a facelift!
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Old March 16th, 2007, 06:21 PM   #798
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wow, sounds great 29 stories will be nice, intresting rendering of the building, i hope we will see more renderings sometime soon, and im glad they arent afraid to build taller than the existing chase tower........





Here's an editorial article from the small business times, it talks about the need to update the downtown master plan to incorperate new things that have be thought of in the 7 or 8 years since the plan was made, .....

also in alot of the plans, it talks about the post office downtown being moved and the site being redeveloped, anybody know when or if this coud ever happen????




Downtown Milwaukee: is it time to update the plan?

I must admit with age DOES come wisdom. I used to have a difficult time understanding why we had to drag our feet and spend countless hours studying, analyzing and planning when we knew in the end what the final results would be. I don't know who originally coined the phrase (and I certainly do not take credit for it) "What you do not measure, you cannot manage," but I certainly get it now.
That leads me to the topic I wish to address today. Is it time for us to revisit the Downtown Milwaukee Master Plan that was originally adopted in 1999? I was fortunate to be able to participate in the development of the Downtown Master Plan, which is available online at

www.mkedcd.org/planning/plans/downtown/index.html.
The process was long and very well thought out. It was inclusive and very thorough.
In the end, the plan identified 13 catalytic projects. A road map and benchmarks, so to speak. A mechanism the community utilized to establish our priorities. Some of those catalytic projects included Wisconsin Avenue revitalization (it's a painful process, but the streetscape is over 50-percent completed), The Historic Third Ward Public Market (it's open folks), the Park East Redevelopment project (underway and moving slowly, but moving), the transit Connector (the trolley at the time - we love it and struggle to pay for it each year, but it's only a temporary solution), Park Once (in development stages) and others.
Of the 13 catalytic projects, at least 10 are significantly underway. But downtown Milwaukee has changed dramatically in the last seven years since the adoption of this plan. We have opportunities that did not exist before and new issues that are circling about with little to no direction (at least as far as the general public is concerned).
What about a long range transportation plan? What about the future of the Bradley Center, the next phase of the convention Center, or the need for more retail? What will happen to our wonderful parks downtown? What about the many organizations that work so hard to program and bring hundreds of thousands of people to our downtown and help drive our economy?
Not to say that people are not working diligently and passionately on addressing these issues, but how do we as a community prioritize them? How do we pay for them, and most importantly, do we want them or have the desire to sustain them? I am not implying that an updated master plan is the "end all be all." I am just simply wondering if it's time?
Now I haven't discussed this with the mayor or the commissioner of the Department of City Development. I know it takes time and resources. One could say, “Why update it when it hasn't been 100-percent implemented yet?"
I contend that it needs to continue to be a living and breathing document. I believe that it opens the door for all the unanswered issues to be put on the table and to be addressed.
Obviously, not once and for all, because as long as our renaissance continues (and I am certain it will), new issues will come to the forefront. Let's measure it again and manage it as well.
What do you think?

Beth Nicols is executive director of Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District (BID) #21.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #799
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It's interesting that the Grand comes up. People often bring up the Grand but rarely the huge swaths of vacant land that WisconsinElectric Energy is holding on the west side of downtown. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with what you all are saying but if there was a place where the city should act, I'd say it's the totally vacant half block that they are holding between 2nd and 3rd along Wells as well as the half block they turned into a parking lot along 2nd between Michigan and Clybourn. If anything, these two lots are stopping development on the west side of downtown. A major project on Wells would spark infill and renovations from Old World 3rd down to the Grand Ave.
The whole Wells/Plankinton/2nd Street triangle is woefully undertilized. I work in the Germania building so I walk every day through this depressing corner of Downtown Milwaukee. If we could develop the open lots behind the Grand theater, the parking lot on the NW corner of Wells/2nd, and the parking lot on the SW corner of Wells/Plankinton, the "Postman Square" area could really come alive and be a real hive of activity in Downtown Milwaukee. Unfortunately we've got a number of landowners there sitting on their parking lots right now.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 06:42 PM   #800
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The Grand Theater has for several years been looked at as a potential new home for the Milwaukee Symphony, at least during summer, but ultimately permanently. It depends on getting financing together. I can't remember if I was ever in there back when they showed movies, but it is supposed to be beautiful, although needing extensive renovation.

If I was one of our billionaires I'd pay for that.

Also, there was a plan to replace the post office several years ago, but after 9-11 there was no money for it. Eventually it will happen. I think the new office park in the Menominee Valley is the ideal location for it. I hope it happens soon. That beast is a blight, sitting on what should be some of the most valuable land in the state.

Can someone please post a picture of the Chase project?

There sure are a lot of potential new buildings being talked about. All won't happen, but several will. Two nights ago I saw the replay of the 1982 American League series game five. They panned the camera out at one point to show downtown. The place sure has changed in 25 years. Those were good days, but these may be better.

Last night channel 4 had a spot about the Ghazi project, which I missed, but on the preceding blurb they suggested a Hard Rock Cafe was being looked at. That doesn't have the cache it used to, but it does show how far Milwaukee has come. I'd rather have a House of Blues.
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