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Old April 6th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #1001
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While I agree that this project is overall a pretty good idea...a 2-car garage? That doesn't seem very green to me.
lol. Well hey it's better than a 3 or 4 car garage you get out here in the burbs!
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Old April 6th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #1002
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While I agree that this project is overall a pretty good idea...a 2-car garage? That doesn't seem very green to me.
Have to be realistic
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Old April 6th, 2007, 10:49 PM   #1003
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Regional tax pushed for Midwest Center
The Business Journal of Milwaukee - April 6, 2007
by Rich Kirchen
Proponents of expanding Milwaukee's convention center believe a regional hotel tax is the best way to pay for the estimated $150 million to $200 million project.

Leaders of the convention center's board are calling for a regional tax that would include at least Waukesha County and possibly Ozaukee, Washington and Racine counties. Currently, only Milwaukee County collects taxes on hotels, restaurants and rental cars that support the downtown Midwest Airlines Center.

While a regional convention center hotel tax is only in the conceptual stage, it has the potential to resurrect the bruising debate over funding a Milwaukee project with taxes on surrounding areas, as was the case with the enactment of the sales tax to fund the construction of Miller Park in the mid-1990s.

An early morning vote in 1995 by the state Legislature led to the 0.1 percent sales tax on Milwaukee and the four surrounding counties for the $400 million Miller Park construction.

Racine County voters, who in 1996 recalled state Sen. George Petak for his vote for the stadium tax, would strongly oppose another regional tax, said Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds.

"We have a strong belief in Racine County that we have our own cultural funding issues that we need to address," he said.
Funding expansion

The additional funds would be necessary if the Milwaukee convention center undergoes a 150,000-square-foot expansion proposed by Frank Gimbel, chairman of the Wisconsin Center District board. Gimbel said recently that the district plans to hire a consultant by May to study the feasibility of expansion as a strategy to attract more conventions to Milwaukee.

If the study results are positive, the board would consider its funding options by this fall, he said.

Because conventions in Milwaukee generate business for hotels in Waukesha County, Gimbel believes it would be fair for the county to support the Midwest Airlines Center.

"My view has always been that Waukesha should be part of the convention center tax," Gimbel said.

Steve Marcus, chairman and chief executive officer of Marcus Corp. and a Wisconsin Center board member, goes further than Gimbel on spreading the tax burden. Marcus suggests including all four counties surrounding Milwaukee.

"The convention center helps everybody," said Marcus, whose company owns three luxury hotels in downtown Milwaukee.

Marcus said he wouldn't support the convention center expansion unless hotel room taxes increase throughout the region. He's concerned about Milwaukee becoming a "tax island" with higher rates than surrounding areas.

Pat Curley, who is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's chief of staff, said last week the mayor supports exploring the possibility of regional funding for the convention center, and cited the precedent set by the Miller Park stadium tax.

In Milwaukee County, the Wisconsin Center District, which also includes the U.S. Cellular Arena and the Milwaukee Theater, is funded with a 2 percent hotel room tax, a 3 percent car rental tax and a 0.25 percent food and beverage tax at restaurants. In addition, the city of Milwaukee charges a 7 percent hotel room tax that goes to the Wisconsin Center.

The Wisconsin Center board has the authority to increase the food and beverage tax to 0.5 percent and the countywide hotel tax to 3 percent. Any other increase, including expanding the tax zone beyond Milwaukee County, would need legislative approval.

Marcus and Gimbel have not proposed increasing the restaurant or car rental taxes to other counties to help fund an expansion.

The Wisconsin Center board needs to review the results of the expansion study before setting a course on funding such a project. Gimbel and Marcus have not calculated a specific percentage for a regional convention center hotel tax. Marcus suggested that other counties dedicate some of their hotel room tax to the downtown convention center.

In Waukesha County, several municipalities already charge an 8 percent hotel room tax.
No taxes

Not surprisingly, the initial sentiment in Waukesha County and other surrounding counties was negative toward taxes on a Milwaukee convention center expansion.

Kirk Drusch, general manager of the Brookfield Suites Hotel & Convention Center, Brookfield, said that while his property benefits from large conventions in Milwaukee, thus far the Midwest Airlines Center has not delivered the new business that was projected when it opened in 1998. He's concerned that raising hotel room taxes would make the Milwaukee market less attractive as a convention site.

"I don't think the solution is to add more to the taxes," he said.

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas said he will be interested in reviewing the convention center expansion study when it's complete. However, he said he doesn't want to raise taxes and doesn't believe there's much support in Waukesha County for a Milwaukee convention center hotel tax.

Brookfield Mayor Jeff Speaker said he doesn't like the idea.

"I cringe when I hear that," he said.

Washington County Board chairman Thomas Sackett of Hartford said convincing officials there to support such a regional tax "would be a struggle."

"It seems like everything that is regional goes toward Milwaukee but little is regionalized toward Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha," he said.

Greater Milwaukee Committee president Julia Taylor said any discussion of a regional convention center hotel tax is premature. She said Wisconsin Center officials need to first determine whether they need to expand the convention center, then seek consensus from the business community and the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development group.

Further complicating the discussion is that other southeast Wisconsin entities, including the Regional Transit Authority, are seeking increases in local sales taxes to support their ventures, Taylor said. She said a convention center hotel tax would need to be reviewed in the context of wider tax issues in the region.

"For southeast Wisconsin, if you're going to take anything to Madison, you've got to have consensus," Taylor said.

Indeed, a spokesman for state Assembly speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) said Wisconsin Center officials have yet to contact the speaker's office but "generally, we're not for raising taxes."
HOTEL TAX COMPARISON

Wisconsin Center District chairman Frank Gimbel has proposed collecting hotel room taxes in Waukesha County to help pay for expanding the Midwest Airlines Center. Here is a comparison of tourism-related taxes in the city of Milwaukee and selected Waukesha County cities.


City Hotel room tax Rental car tax Food-beverage tax
Milwaukee 9 percent 3 percent 0.25 percent
Brookfield 8 percent None None
Delafield 8 percent None None
Waukesha 8 percent None None
Pewaukee 6 percent None None

Source: Wisconsin Center District, municipal officials, tourism officials



if this goes thru it might show that the Milwaukee 7 is working.... with everyone trying to build a stronger draw for the region
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Old April 6th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #1004
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Wow, I'm in that class too. Which discussion are you in? I'm 603.
I'm in 601 I believe

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Originally Posted by mohammed wong View Post
where is this project going up exactly?
i like to map these projects so that i can see them tomorrow when im up in milwaukee
At the corner of Greenwich & Cramer, just off Oakland, although Greenwich is one-way so you'd have to come from Cramer to see it.
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Old April 7th, 2007, 02:47 AM   #1005
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajknee
Wow, I'm in that class too. Which discussion are you in? I'm 603.

I'm in 601 I believe
Im in 606, however i have to agree that this site is perfect. I do feel like i have an edge on the projects for the area, and definatly knew alot about the 11 story condo ahead of time from here.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 06:09 AM   #1006
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This is from the Menominee Valley Partners site:

7. Plan Commission Approves “City Light” Development Plan

Mallory Properties has proposed a redevelopment plan for their property in the center of the Valley, 25 acres between 25th and 16th Streets, St. Paul Avenue and the Menomonee River, which includes the historic red brick buildings and octagonal tower visible from I-94. Their planned development, City Light, includes restoration of the five brick buildings, development of new industrial buildings on 12 acres of vacant land, and a new roadway to improve traffic circulation through the site. In addition, the plan calls for creation of a Riverwalk along the nearly 10-block stretch of the Menomonee River. The City Plan Commission has approved the development plan. Stay tuned for more information on the redevelopment of this key site.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 04:45 AM   #1007
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Thought I'd see if anyone can expand on this quote from the OnMilwaukee.com "Talkin' Milwaukee" forum. It was in a thread about Grand Ave. and what to do with it. A user posted this:

"Grand Avenue actually has some pretty ambitious plans that they will be announcing in a few months. Dozens of new stores. Stay tuned... "

Can anyone confirm or deny this? Or provide additional information?
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Old April 9th, 2007, 06:52 AM   #1008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooMer_MP3 View Post
Thought I'd see if anyone can expand on this quote from the OnMilwaukee.com "Talkin' Milwaukee" forum. It was in a thread about Grand Ave. and what to do with it. A user posted this:

"Grand Avenue actually has some pretty ambitious plans that they will be announcing in a few months. Dozens of new stores. Stay tuned... "

Can anyone confirm or deny this? Or provide additional information?
Not to sound pessimistic but that'll be the day when dozens of new stores are announced. Didn't the Grand already lose all the stores that are generally in other malls in the area due to low business? This shall be interesting....
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Old April 9th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #1009
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From my understanding the new owner has been working out a plan since he purchased the mall. The losses of the big stores were mostly under the old owner.

But again.. I will believe it when I see it.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #1010
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A reminder that this thread is exclusively for development news. I deleted all off-topic posts and will continue to do so. If you'd like to talk about sports, please start a separate thread. Thank you for cooperating.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #1011
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http://www.globest.com/news/880_880/.../159601-1.html

Third Ward To Get New Office/Retail Building
By Robert Carr

MILWAUKEE-The city’s Third Ward will get its first new office building in decades if developer Hawley Strigenz LLC is able to build its planned 150,000-sf building at the northwest corner of Milwaukee and Menomonee streets. The five-story building, to be called Catalano Place on the Park, is expected to cost about $25 million to build and to have about 65,000 sf of office space, 20,000 sf of first floor retail space and 158 indoor parking spaces.

Siegel-Gallagher Inc. is marketing the building. Marianne Burish, a principal with the company, says tenants have committed to almost 20,000 sf of office space.

She tells GlobeSt.com that while smaller tenants are welcome, they’d really like to get an anchor to start construction. “It always helps to get it in one fell swoop,” she says. “But we would take a few smaller tenants, we just need another 10,000 sf to 15,000 sf to get started.”

If enough space is signed, the developer says it will tear down the 33,819-sf Beck Carton Corp. building on the site for the new mixed-use building. Hawley says it could have the building done by mid-2008.

However, Burish admits it’s a slow office market now for Milwaukee, and tenants looking for space have many options. “There’s not a lot of spec construction, not in office space certainly,” she says.

The Catalano building, however, is unique in that it will be new space surrounded by warehouse-turned-loft offices. “We’ll have a floorplate that’s 30,000 sf, which should attract corporate users needing large floors,” she says. The likely average lease rate will be between $15 and $16.50 triple net, and lease terms will vary, with 10 years expected for an anchor, Burish says.

She says that if the building goes up and does well, a phase two is planned, with two more floors of 30,000 sf each. The building is being designed by locally based La Macchia Group LLC.


__________________
Where
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Old April 10th, 2007, 05:13 AM   #1012
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Random, I know. A few photos of CityGreen I took this weekend. I love the glass.









And one of UCT:
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Old April 10th, 2007, 06:49 PM   #1013
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This was in yesterday's paper. I like the impetus, but these buildings seem even more forbidding than what's there now.


Envisioning out-of-the-box MacArthur Square
By WHITNEY GOULD
[email protected]
Posted: April 8, 2007
Spaces



Whitney Gould
E-MAIL

Planner Larry Witzling calls it "the black hole of development."

"Whenever any project gets near it," he says of MacArthur Square, "they all die."

So why should such a strategically located civic space be so toxic? Well, for one thing, it's all but inaccessible. You can get in from the west end if you really try, but you can't get there at all from the east, off N. Lovell St., now that those crumbling spiral ramps are history.

Then there's the sheer inhuman scale of the city-owned square: five football fields' worth of empty, unarticulated space, flanked by public buildings that largely turn their backs on it. With few "eyes on the street," you don't feel safe here.

"It hits all the wrong buttons," says Witzling, who teaches in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and runs a consulting firm, the Planning and Design Institute.

MacArthur Square


Rending courtesy of Planning and Design Institute

This rendering shows how MacArthur Square could be rethought, with ramps extending W. Kilbourn Ave. toward the square and with new buildings.

Eight local design firms have been working on plans for a revitalization of MacArthur Square, five football fields' worth of empty space in downtown Milwaukee.

At the instigation of Bob Greenstreet, the UWM architecture dean who is also the city planning director, Witzling's firm has drawn up a master plan to bring 22.5-acre MacArthur Square back from the dead. The plan would undo the mistakes of 1967, when construction of the Kilbourn tunnels to I-43 and a parking garage beneath the square turned this space into a plinth, cut off from the street.

The reinvention proposal, underwritten by a $50,000 grant from the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation, envisions bringing W. Kilbourn Ave. back up to the square and the Milwaukee County Courthouse with ramps on either side, somewhat like the way Park Ave. in Manhattan gradually leads up to Grand Central Terminal.

The square would also be reintegrated into the city street grid, with long-interrupted north/south streets bisecting the space. And new buildings would be added. In a recent design workshop at the architecture school, eight local design firms floated everything from new dorms for the Milwaukee Area Technical College and Marquette University to a condo tower connected to the Milwaukee Public Museum. (The specific proposals will be ready for public review in mid-May.)

The emphasis would be on environmentally friendly materials and technologies, including rooftop solar panels and possibly even small farming plots. The designers also proposed refacing the bland state office building at 6th and Wells streets. The dank, scary parking garage beneath the square would get brightened with skylights.

Is this all a pipe dream? I don't think so. City officials say that the leaky garage needs $18 million in repairs. As Greenstreet notes, it doesn't make sense to spend that much money "just to get the same hideous garage and same awful space on top. If you don't take on the big ones like this when you have the opportunity, they'll just sit there for another 30 years."

Witzling observes that MATC, Marquette and other nearby magnets bring some 40,000 people a day to the environs around MacArthur Square.

"If we can add a lot more development to the square, it could become a catalyst, a generator, for a great public place," he says.

Yes, there would be less green space, perhaps nine fewer acres, but what's left would be much more inviting and safe.

A makeover is in sync with the city's 1999 downtown plan. Give Greenstreet and his boss, Mayor Tom Barrett, credit for being willing to grapple with this sore thumb, which former Mayor John O. Norquist, for all his interest in urban design, avoided.

The hurdles, of course, are huge. The garage would have to be re-engineered to accept the weight of new buildings; the makeover process would take many years and it would be enormously expensive. But it was just this sort of out-of-the-box thinking, in a design studio at UWM, that presaged the demolition of the Park East Freeway spur.

The city is already talking about a tax incremental financing district, in which the revenues from new development at MacArthur Square would pay for infrastructure improvements. Federal funds, including a program for pedestrian amenities, could also be explored.

The biggest challenge, however, may be conceptual: How do we think big and think small at the same time? In a sense, what the city will have to pull off here is the seemingly improbable marriage of Robert Moses - his boldness, not his rapacious bulldozing in New York City - with a Jane Jacobs, attuned to urban density and fine-grain detail. There's also the potential to transform the courthouse, that last gasp of City Beautiful classicism in all its icy remoteness, into a warmer, more engaging place.

The best way to do both is to flood the dead zone that is MacArthur Square with the life of the city - the rich, messy jangle that has been missing for 40 years.

E-mail to [email protected] or call (414) 224-2358


Other pictures:



Last edited by mbradleyc; April 10th, 2007 at 06:58 PM.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 12:27 AM   #1014
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From today's news watch on JS:
Quote:
TUESDAY, April 10, 2007, 3:27 p.m.

Port of Milwaukee land up for grabs
A prime piece of Port of Milwaukee real estate in Bay View will soon be available because the
U.S. Army Reserve has not renewed its lease on the property with the Milwaukee Board of Harbor Commissioners.

The 1152 Transportation Company Army Reserve installation, which has occupied the Logan Avenue site since 1952, already has vacated the property and has been relocated to W. Silver Spring Drive.

A two-story office building and garage on the 5- to 7-acre property will be demolished at the Army Reserve's expense, said Port of Milwaukee Director Eric Reinelt

The site is just west of a contemplated Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Commuter Link station in Bay View at East Lincoln Avenue and South Bay Street.

"If the KRM railroad ever comes down the track, there could be some tie-ins," Reinelt said, adding that the Board of Harbor Commissioners has no specific plans for the site at this time.


For more on this story, visit BayViewNOW.com
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Old April 11th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #1015
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Just got home from work and there is a fence up around the New Land Development "Terrace Row" on the corner of Kilbourn and Cass.
Do you hear the bulldozers on Sunday mornings too? I need to move. Anyone looking for a studio for $490?
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Old April 11th, 2007, 02:23 AM   #1016
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Just got home from work and there is a fence up around the New Land Development "Terrace Row" on the corner of Kilbourn and Cass.
I know, I can see/hear the earthmovers. Anyone looking for a studio for $490?
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Old April 11th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #1017
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Originally Posted by CGII View Post
There is a point, yes, when preservation will hamper the upwards march of progress, but at this point it is certainly the salivating urge to develop that is hampering preservation. Look at all the open space to the south of the block in question:



Mind you I think the only architecturally insignificant structure in the picture I posted earlier is the middle one, which appears to be a remodeling of the facade. I'm guessing it would have appeared like the face immeaditely to the left of it. That could be restored.
Boy! that parking lot just south on Broadway and Michigan ave would be a great spot for a tower of significant height. And there wouldn't be the amount of demolition that would have to take place to put one there either.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 03:44 AM   #1018
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I know, I can see/hear the earthmovers. Anyone looking for a studio for $490?
LOL wait until you have your windows open in the summer!
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Old April 11th, 2007, 03:56 AM   #1019
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While something needs to be done with MacArthur Square, I would not want to see it become so condensed and over-grown as shown by these amateur-looking renderings. C'mon architecture students, I could've come up with this stuff!! This shows no real imagination - only overgrowth in an area that needs to remain open to show off the County Courthouse. This is a magnificant building, and it must not be allowed to be obliterated from public view with cheesy-looking and boxy developments. We deserve better. Back to the drawing board, Planning & Design Institute.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 04:39 AM   #1020
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Yeah, I'd rather see a creative 'mall' type park in MacArthur's place instead of an extension of Kilbourn border by cheapish buildings. If that were to happen (unlikely), and the Museum were to have a big surplus (very very very very very unlikely), they could renovate so their building embraces the park instead of kind of shy off away from any point in the city.
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