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News, updates, and photos from the North Side of Milwaukee. Includes 30th St. Corridor/Century City, Northridge Mall redevelopment, job growth, etc.

Recent job creation on the far Northwest Side

Mortara Instrument expansion to add 150 jobs over 5 years

A Milwaukee medical device manufacturer's upcoming $5 million expansion is expected to add 150 jobs over the next five years, greatly expanding the company's local workforce.

Mortara Instrument Inc. is starting to develop a 64,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility at 8585 W. Bradley Road. The building will be completed by March.

That Bradley Road site is near the company's 63,000-square-foot headquarters at 7865 N. 86th St., in the Bradley Woods Business Park.

The new facility will consolidate and expand Mortara Instrument's operations, which are currently split between the headquarters building and Mortara's 50,000-square-foot warehouse at 8220 W. Sleske Court. The company will likely sell that warehouse once the new facility is completed.

The new development and current headquarters will create a campus for Mortara Instrument, which makes electrocardiography devices and has 213 employees in Milwaukee.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/mortara-instrument-expansion-will-add-150-jobs-over-five-years-b99560200z1-322330321.html


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Olympus Group to expand Milwaukee headquarters

Olympus Group Inc. will expand its Milwaukee headquarters by 13,000 square feet and plans to add 50 jobs here over the next three years, the company said Monday.

Olympus, a producer of large-format digital graphics and mascot costumes, said it plans to begin the project next month and finish in January. The company also said it will expand its Orlando, Fla., facility.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/olympus-group-to-expand-milwaukee-headquarters-b99558767z1-322086311.html
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Kangaroo Brands to expand Milwaukee plant

Kangaroo Brands Inc. is expanding its production capacity and plans to add 50 jobs over the next 12 months, the Milwaukee maker of frozen sandwiches and specialty breads said Tuesday.

Kangaroo, 7620 N. 81st St., recently converted a storage area into refrigerated space that will house two more sandwich lines, with conveying, slicing, wrapping and packaging equipment. That will increase the company's production capacity by 25%.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/kangaroo-brands-to-expand-milwaukee-plant-b99559213z1-322169071.html
 

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Milwaukee committee backs financing for first Century City building


A city of Milwaukee committee recommended a plan Tuesday that would help finance the first new building in its Century City Business Park, which now has one tenant lined up.

The project is a partnership between the city and Fox Point developer General Capital Group. It includes up to two industrial buildings with a combined 106,320 square feet at West Capitol Drive and West Hopkins Street. One building could be done this fall, marking the first new development in the city’s long-term redevelopment of the former Tower Automotive plant into a job-creating business park.
Red Flag Cargo Security Systems, currently at North 27th Street and West North Avenue, is negotiating to lease space in the Century City building, said Michael Levchets, director of operations. The company will lease 16,000 square feet of the building’s 53,160 square feet of space. It will initially occupy the entire space, but the lease is designed to let the company shrink to 8,000 square feet if it does not need it all, he said.
Red Flag makes single-use locks for cargo shipping containers, including equipment to track custody of them, Levchets said. It has eight employees, but plans to add production and management workers after it moves. He said Red Flag hopes to be in the new building by winter.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/blog/real_estate/2015/05/milwaukee-committee-backs-financing-for-first.html

https://www.redflag.cc



Photo:American Design INC.
 

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This article is from last year. Construction is slowly coming along last time I drove by.

Asian Market eyes May construction start


Construction is set to start in May on a $4.1 million Asian market and community center on North 76th Street that is expected to draw more Hmong residents and businesses to Milwaukee’s northwest side.
Milwaukee’s Asian Market Phongsavan has planned the project since 2009, but is moving forward now after Ridgestone Bank signed off on a $3.3 million loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The 70,580-square-foot building near North 76th Street and West Mill Road would have a first-floor, public-market style retail space. Its second floor would have office space for a pharmacy, medical clinic and professional service companies such as insurance and law firms, said Ben Mohns, president of Mohns Inc., the Waukesha-based general contractor on the project. The building also includes meeting space and basketball courts. “It treats the community as a whole,” Mohns said.

Tou Vang, manager of Asian Market Phongsavan, said 80 businesses have agreed to lease space in the new building, including 22 vendors who are in their existing building. Those 80 companies will have a combined 300 workers, he said.
The majority of the building is preleased, according to a March 28 Milwaukee County report. It would be built near an existing building Asian Market Phongsavan occupies.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/print-edition/2014/04/11/asian-market-eyes-may-construction-start.html

Photo from Milwaukee Business Journal/Sean Ryan
 

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Plan calls for former King Dr. restaurant to become grocery store

A long-vacant restaurant on Milwaukee's north side would be converted into a neighborhood grocery store that includes fresh meat and produce, under a proposal recommended for Common Council approval.

King's Fresh Market Group LLC would buy the 6,846-square-foot former Stella's Restaurant, 2730 N. Martin Luther King Drive, from the city for $100,000, under a proposal endorsed Tuesday by the Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee on a 4-0 vote.


http://www.jsonline.com/business/plan-calls-for-former-king-dr-restaurant-to-become-grocery-store-b99578029z1-327878951.html
 

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I really like the fact that the housing stock / options continue to get diversified as Westlawn is redeveloped. I think it is great that there will be market rate apartments and owner occupied homes available to people once this part of the project is completed.

Milwaukee gets $30 million federal grant to redevelop Westlawn public housing campus

The authority plans to demolish 394 old affordable apartments on Westlawn’s western half and build in their place 708 new housing units. The new apartments will include at least 394 affordable units for low-income residents, market-rate apartments and some owner-occupied homes. A new building on Silver Spring Drive will have first-floor retail space with housing on the upper levels. The project follows Milwaukee’s completion of 250 new housing units on the eastern portion of Westlawn.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/blog/real_estate/2015/09/milwaukee-gets-30-million-federal-grant-to.html
 

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I really like the fact that the housing stock / options continue to get diversified as Westlawn is redeveloped. I think it is great that there will be market rate apartments and owner occupied homes available to people once this part of the project is completed.
HUGE win for Milwaukee! :cheers:

This $251 million in housing investment for the Westlawn area and the surrounding neighborhood, along with the industrial growth that's happening around Bradley Rd, could really help start turning around that section of the NW side.
 

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Stories like this do not get posted or discussed as much on this forum since they do not deal with new construction. However initiatives like this are just as important since they help get unproductive properties back on the tax role like the article says.

Rehabbed foreclosures improve outlook for N. Sixth Street

The city has partnered with Maures Development Group, Brinshore Development, BMO Harris Bank and others to refurbish 35 city-owned housing units in the Harambee and Lindsay Heights neighborhoods and get them back on the tax rolls. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) provided the low-income housing tax credits for the project.

Early next year, the city will begin renovating tax-foreclosed properties in the Century City neighborhood, according to Prioletta. She said more than 30 homes will be refurbished as part of the Century City Housing Initiative.


http://milwaukeenns.org/2015/10/13/rehabbed-foreclosures-improve-outlook-for-n-sixth-street/?ref=onmilwaukee
 

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This sounds like a great use of another historic building in the city that is being underutilized...

Developer wants to convert former Fifth Street School into apartments

A former Milwaukee school built in the 19th century would be converted into apartments under a new proposal.

Gorman & Co. would redevelop the former Fifth Street School, 2770 N. 5th St., into roughly 45 apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms, said Ted Matkom, Wisconsin market president for the Oregon, Wis.-based firm.

Gorman's request for a zoning change to allow that project to proceed is to be reviewed by the Plan Commission at its Monday meeting.


http://www.jsonline.com/business/developer-wants-to-convert-former-fifth-street-school-into-apartments-b99596628z1-332737381.html
 

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Wanted to touch on this as well, this project is HUGE for that neighborhood. The fact that developers are pushing north/west out of I guess I would call "the comfort zones or the hot development corridors" signals to me that people these neighborhoods aren't in as bad of shape as people think. If Gorman & Co are willing to make this investment I could very easily see other developers following suit.

I have always sort of liked Center Street and I would love to see it sort of come back to live and become something similar to Downer Ave or Oakland Ave in Shorewood, with a grocery store, coffee shop, bookstore, dental office. The sort of thing neighborhoods need to thrive. Maybe have the streetcar cut through there.
 

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It's always good to see a local small business succeed and expand:

Expanded Hmong market to offer two floors of shopping, 90 vendors

It started with a couple carts of food on the sidewalk in front of an old auto shop six years ago. In November, Phongsavan Market, an Hmong market on the city’s northwest side that houses 20 Asian-themed vendors, will open a new 84,000-square-foot building just south of its current home at 6300 N. 76th St.

The market that was started by Pai Yang in 2009, which includes a grocery store, fresh produce, hot food, authentic clothing and other items, will take on 70 new vendors, all of whom are already lined up. The $4.2 million expansion, originally scheduled to open in 2013 before funding issues postponed its completion, will have two floors of shopping and a large community room for events.

The grocery portion of the market, which occupies half of the current space, will expand to fill it. Management plans to carry “a more complete grocery line,” including frozen foods, fresh meats and medicine.


http://milwaukeenns.org/2015/10/22/expanded-hmong-market-to-offer-two-floors-of-shopping-90-vendors/?ref=onmilwaukee
 

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I thought this was a fairly interesting article and it features three of the projects being proposed for the north side that have been in the Business Journal recently:

Developers scramble to win tax credits to advance projects

Imagine a pile of free money, albeit with strings attached.

That could describe a federal program that provides tax credits to help finance apartment buildings for low- and moderate-income renters. And, even with those strings, competition for the credits is fierce.

That is highlighted by a new plan to convert a former Milwaukee central city school into apartments. That property is next to a similar proposed development site, and within about six blocks of yet another planned project.

The "free money" is actually the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. Sometimes called affordable housing tax credits, the program was created during President Ronald Reagan's administration and has repeatedly received bipartisan Congressional approval over the past 30 years.


http://www.jsonline.com/business/developers-scramble-to-win-tax-credits-to-advance-projects-b99600025z1-336622491.html
 

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That article is really quite interesting, it's interesting to see all of these developers expressing their interest in some of the more challenged neighborhoods (with the help of tax credits of course.) If all of these projects are completed as proposed that would result in an influx of around 250+ new apartment units in a relatively small area. That could be huge for the neighborhood.

Seeing some of these developers expressing interest in some of these other areas gives me hope that the tides are changing in some of these neighborhoods and they are becoming more desirable/affordable alternatives to downtown. I guess my biggest question now is what will it take to get people to start building single family homes on some of those vacant lots again?
 

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St. Ann's Center - Bucyrus Campus opens on Milwaukee's northside

I am surprised this hasn't been posted!

"Its new center — 80,000 square feet and projected to cost $21 million when built out — will start with a staff of about 45 people but eventually could bring 200 jobs to the neighborhood."

That is just a piece from the article. I think it is awesome bringing development ot that area, because I remember living in that area and wonder why this hadn't been developed. It is so nice to see development in that area, because it is very much needed! I hope more development gets rolling in that area!


Links to the Development are provided below.
http://www.wisn.com/news/st-ann-center-opens-northside-location-in-milwaukee/35288896
http://www.jsonline.com/business/st-ann-center-for-intergenerational-care-will-open-new-location-on-w-north-ave-b99564712z1-323034051.html




photo courtesy of CGSchmidt

photo courtesy of CGSchmidt

photo courtesy of CGSchmidt
 

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I thought some people on this thread might be interested in this article since there has been a decent amount of talk about Northridge recently.

Northridge retail buildings targeted for light industrial space

With the retail area near Milwaukee's former Northridge Mall continuing to shrink, city officials are recommending a plan to convert empty and underused stores into light industrial buildings.

That new proposal could include the former mall, where plans to redevelop it as a wholesale trade mart remain stalled, said city Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux.

Other buildings tentatively targeted for conversion to light industrial use, such as distribution centers or assembly space, include the neighborhood Target store, which is closing in January, he said.


http://www.jsonline.com/business/northridge-retail-buildings-targeted-for-light-industrial-space-b99614937z1-348860221.html
 

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I think this is a great idea. There is not much hope for that part of town other than light industrial and office parks. It's probably too cut off and far-flung to ever be truly connected to the rest of Milwaukee. There is still plenty of good residential (contrary to popular belief) nearby and hopefully more jobs here can support it. It won't ever be particularly urban and will always be car-oreinted but lowering poverty and increasing the taxbase is probably the most important thing we can do in Milwaukee.
 

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If I can find any of the drawings / renderings presented at this meeting I will post them, The article itself did not contain any of them. The most interesting thing that I thought was in this article was the proposal from the new owners of the Milwaukee Mall on 21st and Fond du Lac. They want to have MATC open a campus at that location.

Lindsay Heights residents share redevelopment ideas at annual meeting

When nearly 100 Lindsay Heights residents gathered recently to discuss commercial redevelopment in their community, it became clear early on what many of them want in the area: access to a high-quality grocery store, recreational venues for youth, and a school that offers vocational and trade classes for adults.

The meeting featured a suggested blueprint for redevelopment with colorful images and drawings presented by the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning Campus Design Solutions team. The sketches were designed to give residents an idea of possible commercial developments including trendy restaurants and nightlife entertainment venues, a fitness center and health care clinic.


http://milwaukeenns.org/2015/11/24/lindsay-heights-residents-share-redevelopment-ideas-at-annual-meeting/?ref=onmilwaukee
 

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This is a press release I found on UrbanMilwaukee.com, I cited what I found to be the most relevant parts but there is more to it for anyone who is interested. I also made to include the link for the plan website for people who want to visit it.

Important Burleigh/Lisbon Corridor planning information from Alderman Jim Bohl

During the past several weeks, residents have provided input on ways we can help revitalize the Burleigh Street and Lisbon Avenue business corridors (between N. 68th and N. 93rd Streets) and plan for their future.

A summary of the tabulated citizen survey and the public presentation document from the meeting are available on the city’s Westside plan website at http://bit.ly/1IkjYPk and can be found by clicking onto the Burleigh and Lisbon Corridor Update link. Additionally, the full report of the snapshot study is expected to be released early in 2016, so I urge you to bookmark the site and check back periodically.


http://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelease/important-burleighlisbon-corridor-planning-information-from-alderman-jim-bohl/
 
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