Park East Square Loan Approved
Union opposition to Park East Square evaporates.
Park East Square’s brownfield cleanup loan was quickly approved without protest, a strange twist given opposition as late as last night from a local union. Until today, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 had been using every public hearing related to this project to raise the issue that Wangard Partners, the developer, fired 12 union janitors at 875 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Due to this opposition, Wangard Partners was for the second time before the Redevelopment Authority of Milwaukee to make a $1 million brownfield loan request to assist the company in the $1.8 million cleanup of Park East Block 26. The loan request had been held at the previous RACM meeting to give Wangard Partners time to address the issues raised by SEIU Local 1.
A press release from SEIU Local 1, which came out just yesterday referred to Stewart Wangard as a “Million-dollar baby,” and called for a day of action to protest this approval, yet today no one responded to the request for public input and the proposal was approved unanimously. Sean Ryan, of the Business Journal, is reporting that a deal was brokered by Mayor Barrett between Wangard Parnters and SEIU Local 1 resolving the labor dispute. The approval of the loan will allow remediation work to begin on first phase of Park East Square, a $22 million 86-unit apartment building.