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Old May 18th, 2007, 06:49 AM   #1501
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omg Coldwake, i totally agree... i was just thinking that and then i read ur post. So yea i think that this will totally help connect the downtown skyline to the east side skyline. I can only imagine what that will look like someday...
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Old May 18th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #1502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DooMer_MP3 View Post
Have you managed to avoid their light rail system? I keed I keed... I really want to visit that city.
Yes, I avoided their light rail system like the plague I had a rental car, of course, since I needed to get around. Seriously, the light rail system in Portland seems to work pretty well from what I was able to determine from the locals. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this is one cool city. Of course, the weather was perfect while I was there, which didn't hurt. But Portland reminds me of a larger version of Ann Arbor, MI -- and it isn't really a college town (even thought Portland State is right downtown). Lots of of people with their arms firmly wrapped around trees, for sure...Oregon is very much a Green State. Every man over the age of 50 seems to need to grow a (grey) beard...kind of funny -- some of the women, too. Bottom line, I need to go back for a vacation. I could spend several days just driving along the Columbia River Waterway -- it's a breathtaking area! And, did you know, Portland has a slew of great micro breweries? The beer is...hate to admit it, OUTSTANDING!
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Old May 18th, 2007, 07:45 AM   #1503
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Nice description. I really need to check out that city. If you go back for a vacation, you should try a day or two without the car. I know their light rail system is considered one of the best in the country, and an example for any future light rail system to follow. Part of what I like doing when I visit a new city is to try their mass transit. Interesting on the beer front.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 08:55 PM   #1504
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Here's a cool site. I was looking something up and plotted this. It can of course be set for any location you want. Kind of outdated picture, but still fun.

http://www.earthsearch.net/usSearch/...howMap=1876377
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Old May 20th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #1505
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I'll be creating a photo thread soon but wanted to give a sneak peak of what's to come...

scroll >>>
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Old May 20th, 2007, 01:45 AM   #1506
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Holy crap! If that photo is any indication, I'm gonna love the thread.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #1507
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Hands down the best pano ever for milwaukee.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #1508
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Pretty damn nice panorama, MM. Is this taken from the roof of the Astor? Just wondering for perspective-sake...
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Old May 20th, 2007, 05:49 AM   #1509
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That pano is amazing. The UWM cluster in the distance makes the city look so much bigger than it really is.

Anyway, I haven't been on the Sixth Street viaduct in a while now, and was amazed to see how far along construction is on the Harley Davidson Museum:

http://www.h-dmuseum.oxblue.com/?loc...bmLocale=en_US

You can already see the atriums and an arterial road taking form.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 01:00 AM   #1510
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edit
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Old May 21st, 2007, 01:09 AM   #1511
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Building boom
Office, condo construction mark Third Ward, Walker's Point resurgence
By TOM DAYKIN
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Posted: May 19, 2007


Lately, the booming neighborhood on downtown's southern edge has seen another set of guideposts: construction cranes.

The Third Ward, bordered by the Milwaukee River, I-794 and Lake Michigan, along with portions of neighboring Walker's Point, are hosting several new projects - outpacing development activity throughout the rest of the downtown area.

Some of the developments are taking longer to fill because there's more space available than in previous years, said Ron San Felippo, Historic Third Ward Association president. But the neighborhood real estate market remains "pretty strong," he said.

Demand for commercial space in the area is not as strong as Walker's Point developer Kendall Breunig would like to see.

"But it's definitely improving," said Breunig, who's preparing the former Pritzlaff Hardware / Hack Furniture buildings, at the southwest corner of W. St. Paul Ave. and N. Plankinton Ave., for a planned conversion into apartments, offices and retail space. Breunig has finished most of the environmental cleanup work on the project, and hopes to assemble financing to begin renovations by the end of 2007.

The current surge of Third Ward / Walker's Point development includes housing as well as commercial space. It's perhaps the strongest in a series of neighborhood real estate investments that date back around 20 years.

It was during the mid-1980s when investors began buying some of the neighborhood's obsolete industrial buildings - many dating to the late 19th century - and converted them into cheap office space, aimed mainly at non-profit groups and smaller businesses.

By the late 1990s, the downtown housing boom spread to the Third Ward. That continues to this day, and has helped sparked new retail development, with that space filled by restaurants, home furnishings stores, clothing boutiques and other businesses. Lately, a new office trend has surfaced, with higher-end space aimed at law firms, investment companies and others. In recent years, both the residential and commercial development has spread across the Milwaukee River to portions of Walker's Point, in an area dubbed the Historic Fifth Ward.
Latest wave

The latest construction wave comes even as the Milwaukee area's office market remains slow, and the national housing market experiences a well-documented slowdown.

Developer Robert Joseph announced last week plans to build the 84-unit Jackson Square apartments near the northwest corner of N. Jackson and E. Menomonee streets. Joseph said demand is strong for the Third Ward, and he plans to offer units with rents starting at around $1,300 a month.

Interest in downtown living remains strong, agreed Robert Monnat of Mandel Group Inc. That firm recently began marketing its Domus condo project, which would overlook the Milwaukee River in the Third Ward.

Mandel Group plans to build Domus just east of its Marine Terminal Lofts development, 120 N. Broadway. Domus would have 61 units, starting at $425,000 for 1,500 square feet, said Monnat, Mandel Group's chief operating officer. Domus is being targeted to affluent empty nesters who want large units, Monnat said.

Another new project, CitySide Plaza, 233 E. Chicago St., began its marketing efforts earlier this year and has already sold 10 condos, said real estate agent Nancy Meeks, of First Weber Group.

The building, which formerly housed Reliable Knitting, was sold in December to an investors group organized by Chicago developer Yiannis Konstantinou. It is being converted to 57 condos, with prices ranging from $199,000 to $450,000. The first condos will be completed by March, Meeks said.

Two other condo projects are under construction and will begin making units available to new residents by August.

The 82-unit River Renaissance, at 102 N. Water St., has so far sold 41 units, said Sean Dixon of First Weber, which recently replaced Ogden & Co. as the building's sales agent. The condos range from $194,000 to $689,000, Dixon said.

The project, owned by attorney Scott Burns, investor Steve Stewart and architect Robert Schultz, recently announced that Fratellos Waterfront restaurant is leasing 8,600 square feet of retail space overlooking the river.

The 152-unit First Place on the River, just across the river in Walker's Point, at 106 W. Seeboth St., has so far sold 89 units, said developer Scott Fergus. The 12-story project is being created through the remodeling and expansion of the former Terminal Storage Co. building and will be largely completed by October, Fergus said.

The $68 million project is one of the largest housing developments ongoing in downtown and its nearby neighborhoods. The units are priced from $170,000 to $2 million.

About a block east of First Place on the River is Kramer Lofts, a 55-unit apartment building at 151 E. Seeboth St. under construction at the former Kramer International Inc. foundry site. The apartments, developed by Tim Dixon and Madison-based Stone House Development Inc., will be completed this summer.

Kramer Lofts includes 43 units that will be rented at below-market rates, in return for the developers receiving $4.2 million of federal affordable housing tax credits. Monthly rents start at just under $500 for moderate-income tenants.
Castings Point

The credits were allocated by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. The authority's Milwaukee office moved in March to the 27,000-square-foot Castings Point, a neighboring office and retail building developed by Dixon. Castings Point includes a new Maritime Bank branch and will have two restaurants opening this summer, Dixon said.

Just west of Castings Point is a 25,000-square-foot office and retail building, at 161 S. 1st St., that will be completed in August by Vetter Denk Properties LLC. It will be the new home of Vetter Denk Architects Inc. and Capital Internet LLC, an Internet service provider.

Back in the Third Ward, a 67,000-square-foot building, which is being converted from a former industrial property at 222 E. Erie St., has so far landed three office tenants - C2 Group, Piper Jaffray and Walker Group - and is negotiating with others, said broker Steve Pape of Inland Cos.

Pape said the building, owned by Chicago investor Mike Glazier and his partners, is close to 50% occupancy, including several street-level retail tenants. The retail tenants include a restaurant, Hinterland Brewery, which opens this August.

Other new Third Ward office properties include 64,000 square feet converted from the former Beck Carton buildings, at 311 E. Chicago St. and 170 N. Broadway. The building's first office tenant is development firm Boulder Venture Inc., and its retail tenants will include a martini bar, Penthouse on Broadway, set for a June 2 opening.

The former Beck buildings are owned by developers Doug Weas and Kyle Strigenz.

Other Third Ward office projects include 27,000 square feet remodeled from the former Moritz & Winter building, 215 N. Water St., and 25,000 square feet that's being refurbished at the former Milwaukee Antique Center, 341 N. Milwaukee St.

The former Moritz & Winter property, owned by Willow Tree Development LLC, recently landed Nighthawk Radiology as its first tenant. The former antique center, which should have office space ready by June, has not yet signed any tenants, developer Craig Stoehr said.

The demand for Third Ward office space has lately "been a bit sluggish," said Michael DeMichele, Willow Tree owner.

Meanwhile, a proposed Third Ward hotel remains unbuilt.

Weas last year proposed a 150-room Renaissance ClubSport by Marriott as part of a condo and hotel project, at N. Broadway and E. St. Paul Ave. The Renaissance ClubSport is a new Marriott hotel concept that includes a spa and an extensive fitness center.

Weas, who couldn't be reached for comment, is working to assemble financing for the development, said San Felippo, of the Third Ward Association, which owns land that would be used in the project. Weas is confident he will get the project off the ground, San Felippo said.

There are some good pics and graphics on the JS's website...
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=607752
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Old May 21st, 2007, 05:43 PM   #1512
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Hey, I'm not sure, but I think I saw lights on the crown of UCT. Does anyone have pics, or can confirm that?
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Old May 21st, 2007, 07:45 PM   #1513
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajknee View Post
Hey, I'm not sure, but I think I saw lights on the crown of UCT. Does anyone have pics, or can confirm that?
Yeah, the crown is lite up at night now and they are s l o w l y finishing the "back" of the tower
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Old May 21st, 2007, 09:37 PM   #1514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajknee View Post
Hey, I'm not sure, but I think I saw lights on the crown of UCT. Does anyone have pics, or can confirm that?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 12:17 AM   #1515
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Beautiful. Thanks Mark.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 08:00 PM   #1516
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I am sure most of you have heard about this but I will post it for those who have not... looks like we might get to keep the museum

Museum recovery plan is endorsed
Board, committee give unanimous backing to bailout

Key pieces of a financial recovery plan for the Milwaukee Public Museum were unveiled late Monday, including increased county funding, restructuring of long-term debt and a deep discount to help the museum buy the now-vacant former Discovery World addition.

The museum's board and a special museum recovery committee unanimously endorsed the plan, which also includes an ambitious $30 million private fund drive.

The county would increase its annual operating subsidy for the museum by about $200,000 to $3.5 million starting next year and continuing at that level through 2018. In addition, the county would agree to give the museum another $4 million over five years starting in 2008 to pay for deferred maintenance on the museum building.

full story http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=608420
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 08:13 PM   #1517
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Sweet

TUESDAY, May 22, 2007, 11:31 a.m.
By Greg J. Borowski

Move to preserve open area advances
Activists who want to preserve the natural side of a portion of the Milwaukee River north of downtown won a preliminary victory today before a Milwaukee Common Council committee.

The council's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee voted 3-0 to support creation of a temporary "overlay district," a move meant to give residents and city officials time to draw up a more detailed plan for the riverway. If approved by the full council next week, the district would roughly cover the area north of the former North Ave. Dam to the city limits.

Much of that stretch is free of development and includes parts of several Milwaukee County parks. In all, it totals about 800 acres, which is comparable to the size of Central Park in New York City. Activists and nearby residents said the natural state of the river there is an oasis in the city, home to many species of birds and fish, and a rare asset in an urban area.

At today's committee meeting, members of the Milwaukee River Work Group urged aldermen to support the designation, which bars clear-cutting of trees in the area and requires most proposals to go before the city's Board of Zoning Appeals for additional scrutiny.

A plan for the area could cover such things as set-back requirements for buildings, as well as height guidelines to preserve the natural views. Much of the river south of the former dam has been developed with apartments and condos.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:10 AM   #1518
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I was pretty suprised how long and deep those trails along the Milwaukee River go. I walked much of the Western side of it--starting at North Ave. Bridge and was pretty impressed. You were all right about it.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:38 AM   #1519
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Northern leg for commuter rail line will be studied
Transit group makes agreement in effort to galvanize support for line currently planned for south suburbs
By LARRY SANDLER
[email protected]
Posted: May 21, 2007
Town of Bristol - The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority agreed Monday to study extending commuter trains north to the Milwaukee-Ozaukee county line. Milwaukee city and county representatives on the three-county body urged the move as a way to galvanize support for the proposed KRM Commuter Link rail line and for the $13-a-car rental car tax increase that the RTA is seeking to pay for the trains. The line is currently planned to run only from downtown Milwaukee to the southern suburbs, Racine and Kenosha.

Last week, a Milwaukee Common Council committee called for the KRM trains to be extended through the north side's 30th St. rail corridor, along the Glendale-Milwaukee city limit and through Brown Deer. Aldermen said the extension would boost the commuter line's economic impact by connecting more workers to jobs and stimulating development in depressed neighborhoods.

That resolution goes to the full council May 30. But its passage is virtually certain, because nine of the 15 aldermen are already on record in favor of it, as is Mayor Tom Barrett. The idea is also gaining support among Milwaukee County supervisors, although no County Board resolution has been introduced, said RTA member George Torres, the county's director of public works.

Both the Common Council and the County Board have called on the Legislature to oppose the rental car tax increase unless it is packaged with funding for the Milwaukee County Transit System. Supporting the extension offers a chance to forge a common front that could improve the KRM line's chances for funding at both the state and federal levels, argued Torres and RTA member Sharon Robinson, the city's director of administration.

In its current form, the 33-mile KRM line would cost $200 million to build. It's not clear how much the 14-mile extension would cost.

As now planned, the trains would run 14 round trips each weekday, with stations in downtown Milwaukee, the south side, Cudahy, South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Caledonia, Racine, the Town of Somers and Kenosha.

The extension could add as many as eight more stops, including several with large park-and-ride lots, Ald. Bob Bauman said.

Also Monday, consultant Peter Peyser disputed state Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi's claim that an $80 million congressional pledge for the KRM line was "meaningless."

Although the provision doesn't guarantee any money for the rail line, the project had to be mentioned in the transportation legislation to be considered for federal funding, said Peyser, who is working for SC Johnson Wax, a major backer of the rail line.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:10 AM   #1520
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RIVIANNA

I just looked on emporis and it says rivianna will be 3 -18 story towers now, so i guess they added 3 floors to each tower, sounds good to me......
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