County Threatened With Lakefront Lawsuit
County committee okays negotiations with The Couture developer, despite a casual threat of lawsuit.
At the Monday special meeting of the Milwaukee County Economic and Community Development Committee, the plan to start negotiations between Milwaukee County and developer Rick Barrett to purchase the Downtown Transit Center received approval. Barrett plans to develop a 44-story, $125 million high-rise known as The Couture. The building would include a hotel with 80 rooms and 179 apartments if built.
Despite supporting Sup. Patricia Jursik‘s efforts to block this measure from being heard in July, County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic actually brought the resolution to open the negotiations forward. The resolution includes various conditions that must be met before the county board would approval a land sale. These included: getting a fair market value price for the land, signing a development agreement that includes parts of the Park East Redevelopment Contract, which includes minority and resident participation requirements, and gaining assurances that the site isn’t in violation of the Public Trust Doctrine.
Despite the information provided by the DNR, John Lunz, President of Preserve our Parks, spoke in opposition to the project, insisting that this is a protected site. Lunz warned the committee members that “there’s always the possibility that someone is going to take them to court.”
The resolution was unanimously approved and will go before the full County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, July 26th.