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Old July 11th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #1941
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Originally Posted by milwaukee-københavn View Post
But if someone's already walked eight blocks to the middle of downtown, why would they bother riding this? And why would people ride it to Pabst? Where would they ride it from? I like the idea but you have to design it properly or else it is a waste of steel and concrete. Look at the attractions it connects- there's little reason for people to ride it between them. Why would someone from MSOE ride this? What use would it be to Marquette students? What about folks who live in the Third Ward? Besides riding it a couple of times a year to the Bradley Ctr, what else would they use it for? You could use the exact same amount of steel, for the exact same cost and provide a real alternative. It just takes some decent design by transportation folks, not the DCD.
See, this is what I don't get. Most of my friends in Chicago who live in various neighborhoods outside the CBD happily commute without a car like this:

1) Walk a few blocks to bus stop
2) Take bus to El station
3) Take El downtown to their station
4) Walk from El station to work

However, for some reason in Milwaukee, this is absolute blasphemy...

EDIT - and obviously the trolley loop isn't as efficient as a direct line El, but either way, say you come in on KRM or a bus stop. You catch a trolley in either direction, and the max you'd have to walk East/West in the CBD to your job would be 4 blocks. For me, I'd walk 5 blocks and go to the Bradley Center (I goto like 20 games a year, and try to walk even though it takes a half hour). I'd walk 5 blocks and go to the Market, I'd walk 5 blocks and go to the 3rd ward and so on and so forth.

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Old July 11th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #1942
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Originally Posted by milwaukee-københavn View Post
But if someone's already walked eight blocks to the middle of downtown, why would they bother riding this? And why would people ride it to Pabst? Where would they ride it from? I like the idea but you have to design it properly or else it is a waste of steel and concrete. Look at the attractions it connects- there's little reason for people to ride it between them. Why would someone from MSOE ride this? What use would it be to Marquette students? What about folks who live in the Third Ward? Besides riding it a couple of times a year to the Bradley Ctr, what else would they use it for? You could use the exact same amount of steel, for the exact same cost and provide a real alternative. It just takes some decent design by transportation folks, not the DCD.
The COMET system is meant for reaching MU/MIAD students and points further from downtown TO downtown. The streetcar loop is intended to move people within downtown. That can be residents doing regular errands, office workers on lunch hour or tourists going from their hotel to another side of town.

The loop connects the Amtrak (soon to be KRM hopefully) with the Public Market/Third Ward (and it certainly helps people in the third ward...if you lived in the third ward and worked at manpower, you could take this everyday), with mam/pierwisconsin/summerfest, with major office buildings (NWM, US Bank, Baird), with dense housing housing near Juneau Village/Yankee Hill/etc. with MSOE, with the emerging Park East, with Water Street bars, with Old World Third, with Bradley Center/US Cellular/Milwaukee Theater/Midwest Center, with Grand Ave/Ghazi. Yeah, it doesn't really connect anything. It isn't going to get you to the front door of everything, but it will get you within 1-3 blocks, and that's pretty good.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #1943
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From the SBT on the Rivianna project:
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Bob Schultz, the developer who has proposed the mixed-use Rivianna project along the Milwaukee River just south of the Historic Third Ward, said he feels like the "Rodney Dangerfield of developers in Milwaukee." Schultz believes he ought to get a little more respect for proposing a $100 million development, which would feature three towers, each 16 stories high, with a total of 165 condominiums and a 60-room boutique hotel. The project was recently recommended for approval by the Common Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, despite objections from some residents in the neighborhood. The Common Council will review the proposed re-zoning for the project during its meeting today.

During the committee meeting, Ald. Robert Bauman, whose district includes the Marine Terminal Lofts residents but not the Rivianna site, said he was told by a Department of City Development official that the Rivianna project probably would not obtain financing. Schultz is not seeking financial assistance from the city for the project. Later, Bauman told SBT that the comment about the financing for Rivianna was made by Richard "Rocky" Marcoux, commissioner of the DCD. DCD spokeswoman Andrea Rowe Richards said the department declined to comment for this story.

"It's destructive," Schultz said of the comments questioning his project's financing. "For some reason, the opposition to (the project) has risen to a new height of sophistication, and it's not based on logic." Schultz said he made several design changes to the building to appease concerns of area residents that oppose the project. Plans for a helipad and a fountain were dropped because of noise concerns. The base that the three towers will sit on was lowered to allow more sunlight to pass through. The number of condominiums and the size of the hotel was reduced.

The three-tower design for the building will allow more sunlight and will block views less than a shorter, block-shaped nine-story building would have, Schultz said. Despite the changes, several neighborhood residents still expressed opposition to the project. "It seems they were focused on one thing, defeating this project," Schultz said. Bauman said he considers the committee's endorsement of the Rivianna project, "a horrible mistake."

"I think there is a serious issue with the height," Bauman said. A high-rise building on the site does not fit in well with the shorter buildings on the other side of the river, he said. "The constituency of the height of the buildings on that end of the river, I think it works," Bauman said. "I think the density for that site has to be thought about long and hard." The city should establish a vision for future development along the south side of the river between Lake Michigan and Water Street, Bauman said.

However, several others have expressed support for the development, including some business owners in the neighborhood. As for the financing of the project, Schultz said he received a verbal commitment from one lender, whom he declined to name, that would finance the entire project without any condominium pre-sales. Schultz said that deal has not been finalized and he is talking to other potential lenders as well. "I have met with multiple sources on the equity and debt side that have expressed a general, solid interest in the project," he said.

Schultz plans to provide some community benefits with the project, which would include affordable housing units, union labor and minority workers. The community benefits have helped attract interest from some lenders, he said. "There are capital markets out there that want to invest in projects that show a high degree of social responsibility," he said. However, Schultz's plans for a dramatic development, without subsidy and with community benefits, make critics skeptical that it can work.

"I frankly think that this development was put forth as a joke," Bauman said. "A helipad, waterfalls - you can't do everything they claim they are doing - parking, a riverwalk, community benefits, no subsidy. It is not possible. The numbers just don't add up. There is not a single reputable developer in this city that has spoken up for this project. I think the DCD has done the community a disservice for even bringing this project forward. It is a horrible mistake." Schultz was a co-developer in the redevelopment of the former Teweles Seed Co. building at 222 S. Third St., Milwaukee, into housing and is a co-developer in the 80-unit River Renaissance condominium development that is under construction at Water and Erie streets in the Third Ward.

The Teweles project presented major financial challenges, Schultz said. Overcoming those challenges earned the respect of the capital markets, he says. "The capital markets respect people that respect other people's money," Schultz said. "I'm much further ahead with financing than I was with Teweles or River Renaissance. I had a very difficult time with Teweles. It would have been very easy to just fold up and go home. But I weathered that storm to get River Renaissance going." With a strong show of support from businesses in the neighborhood, Schultz said he is determined to make the Rivianna project a success. "I feel a sense of responsibility," he said. "Now, I have to deliver." To learn more about Rivianna go to: www.rivianna.com
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Old July 12th, 2007, 04:45 PM   #1944
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"I frankly think that this development was put forth as a joke," Bauman said. "A helipad, waterfalls - you can't do everything they claim they are doing - parking, a riverwalk, community benefits, no subsidy. It is not possible. The numbers just don't add up. There is not a single reputable developer in this city that has spoken up for this project. I think the DCD has done the community a disservice for even bringing this project forward. It is a horrible mistake."
Okay, we made jokes about the helipad... but we are posters on an internet message board. This guy is part of the city government. He just comes across with a tremendous amount of arrogance and non-professionalism.

The developer is right, how can a guy willing to invest 100 million in the city be taken so lightly. Heck, he's being downright offended by the city council. Sad.

That said, how can someone want to create a 100 million dollar complex and not even spellcheck their website?
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Old July 12th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #1945
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If I was one of Baumans constituents on the east side of the river I can see why they wouldn't want a large project right across the water.

However to everyone else this would be a great project.

Clearly Bauman is hitting hard for his residents. He's looking to make sure he gets re-elected instead of thinking whats best for the city as a whole.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #1946
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Isn't his job suppossed to be to represent his constituents though? Technically it is, so if they are against it, he should be voicing their concern, regardless of what he personally thinks. He is a good urban person who supports density, but he is representing his constituency. Keep in mind that he is one of 15 aldermen. He can vote against it based on neighbor concerns, but it can still pass.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 09:12 PM   #1947
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Isn't his job suppossed to be to represent his constituents though? Technically it is, so if they are against it, he should be voicing their concern, regardless of what he personally thinks. He is a good urban person who supports density, but he is representing his constituency. Keep in mind that he is one of 15 aldermen. He can vote against it based on neighbor concerns, but it can still pass.
Let's just hope you're right. I agree with NeuBrew that it is wrong to be that arrogant over something that would benefit the Walkers Point area.

It's also disappointing to see the developer, investing $100 million, to be taken with a grain of salt. Weren't all of you the ones wanting people like Schultz, instead of others who want TIFs???
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Old July 12th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #1948
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Originally Posted by MilwaukeeD View Post
Isn't his job suppossed to be to represent his constituents though? Technically it is, so if they are against it, he should be voicing their concern, regardless of what he personally thinks. He is a good urban person who supports density, but he is representing his constituency. Keep in mind that he is one of 15 aldermen. He can vote against it based on neighbor concerns, but it can still pass.
Oh yes definitely, I wasn't passing judgment on him I was just pointing out why he's so against it. It all makes sense, you just have to look at who's perspective an opinion is coming from.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #1949
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Re Rivianna, God bless Schultz for proposing this huge development without TIF handouts...Wow! That's big, and he should be recognized, commended and thanked for his vision. However, and you had to know this was coming from me, I sure wish his vision would have focused on downtown proper. Imagine this particular development -- condos, hotel and retail -- running up some 45-50 stories as one building!! I'm sure he got the land much cheeper where he's planning to build, but, he could have really made a mark and bigger name for himself and his business if he would've been the one to erect Milwaukee's new tallest -- in downtown.

My concern with the change in zoning for this project is that it opens the door for more, taller buildings to be built in the Third Ward and Walker's Point. I like development, but not when it starts looking disconnected and scattered. Milwaukee's skyline will never become dense enough, or impressive without a more planned area of development. And, Rivianna, in all its splendor, will be a prime example of this due to the lack of foresight by city leaders and planners.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #1950
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My concern with the change in zoning for this project is that it opens the door for more, taller buildings to be built in the Third Ward and Walker's Point. I like development, but not when it starts looking disconnected and scattered. Milwaukee's skyline will never become dense enough, or impressive without a more planned area of development. And, Rivianna, in all its splendor, will be a prime example of this due to the lack of foresight by city leaders and planners.
Or what if city planners want downtown to be a lot bigger than what it currently is? I see your point of not enough high rises concentrated in one square block, but many high rises could also not be such a bad thing.

I would prefer Milwaukee's tallest as an office building anyways.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #1951
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they arent going to make exceptions all the time, this is a well thought out well designed project that will easily sell its units and become successful, a $100 million development doesn't just come around everyday, Im waiting for this one...
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Old July 13th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #1952
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I like his project and vision behind it. No matter what this can't be a negative project no matter what the residents on otherside of the river have to say about it. On the website it shows the renderings and what piece of property it would occupy and its much smaller than I, and most would have imagined. That area is going to fill in at some point and this is just a small part.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #1953
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Or what if city planners want downtown to be a lot bigger than what it currently is? I see your point of not enough high rises concentrated in one square block, but many high rises could also not be such a bad thing.

I would prefer Milwaukee's tallest as an office building anyways.
I don't think Milwaukee -- for a city its size -- could be much more spread out, at least from east to west. So, in the interest of density and height, I sure wouldn't want to see the already-challenged skyline diluted even more. And, to think Milwaukee's city planners are pro-active is a mistake. History seems to show that Milwaukee pretty much takes whatever developers are pitching. And, if that means re-zoning to accomodate, "duh, ok, let's try that."

Seriously, I agree you can't look a $100 mil project in the mouth, but I doubt city planners had anything much to do with it. Once the developer put it on the board, the "planners" begin to take credit for it, like "yep, that's just what we planned for that spot all along."

Now, if there truly are city planners at City Hall, they will identify two or three top sites -- DOWNTOWN -- and pitch it (yes, with some TIFs involved) as Milwaukee's next tallest office building. But, I'm not sure that Milwaukee leaders have ever cared much about establishing height and developing a recognizable skyline.

I agree with you that I'd rather see a new tallest as primarily Class A office, but, in reality, it will probably need to be a mix-use project...like LPT's proposal. Truth is, there simply is not enough demand for the amount of office space needed to fill out a 40+ tower in Milwaukee. (Unless you build like crazy in Franklin, NM!!) Therefore, there really needs to be a mix-use project, IMO.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #1954
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Intermodal Terminal Renovation Update

They're moving along nicely with the downtown Intermodal Station... here are a couple pictures I took while walking around there earlier today:



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Old July 14th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #1955
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Wow, HD is coming along real nice, thanks Mark! Man, that is going to be a real special place when it is done.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #1956
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They're moving along nicely with the downtown Intermodal Station... here are a couple pictures I took while walking around there earlier today:
I was around there last week and the smell was unbelievably foul. I hope it's temporary.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #1957
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Thanks for the pictures Mark, because I'm really depressed right now about Goldmann's going out of business.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #1958
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I was around there last week and the smell was unbelievably foul. I hope it's temporary.
Of course it's temporary... smells carry in and carry out. Could have been Jones Island, could have been one of the factories in the valley, could have been algae on the lake, could have been any number of things. It's not like there's this horrible stench hovering over Milwaukee at all times. Yes, occasionally it smells but it's always a temporary thing.

If I came over to your home and just before I walked in, you let one rip, the place would smell rank. However, I wouldn't think to myself, gee, this stench is terrible... I hope it's temporary.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #1959
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"Now, if there truly are city planners at City Hall, they will identify two or three top sites -- DOWNTOWN -- and pitch it (yes, with some TIFs involved) as Milwaukee's next tallest office building. But, I'm not sure that Milwaukee leaders have ever cared much about establishing height and developing a recognizable skyline."

Ya because good planners would pitch property they don't own, offer a TIF or subsidize the project just so we could get a new tall building??? yea that makes sense. Maybe just maybe if the market demanded a new tall building, and maybe just maybe if a land owner wanted to sell their land and maybe if there were viable tenants to make the project viable then DCD would promote a better design, and help the process move forward.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #1960
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"Now, if there truly are city planners at City Hall, they will identify two or three top sites -- DOWNTOWN -- and pitch it (yes, with some TIFs involved) as Milwaukee's next tallest office building. But, I'm not sure that Milwaukee leaders have ever cared much about establishing height and developing a recognizable skyline."

Ya because good planners would pitch property they don't own, offer a TIF or subsidize the project just so we could get a new tall building??? yea that makes sense. Maybe just maybe if the market demanded a new tall building, and maybe just maybe if a land owner wanted to sell their land and maybe if there were viable tenants to make the project viable then DCD would promote a better design, and help the process move forward.
I don't see the unbelievable sin, however, in NOT allowing the city to promote certain spots of downtown that are currently in crapsville to be redone. In my opinion, if the owners didn't do something already for their dumps, I don't think they'll be swayed to do much else in the future. And I don't want to keep seeing the same ugly spots when I'm 60 thank you very much.
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