Chris Abele
Press Release

Couture Economic Development Project to Move Forward

County Executive Chris Abele Announces Closing on Sale of Downtown Transit Center.

By - Aug 30th, 2016 11:03 am
The Couture. Rendering by Rinka Chung Architecture.

The Couture. Rendering by Rinka Chung Architecture.

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today announced that the County closed on the sale of the Downtown Transit Center to developer Rick Barrett, the final hurdle in moving forward on the Couture project, a transformative economic development on Milwaukee’s lakefront that will create thousands of new, good-paying jobs.

The Couture, which will redefine Milwaukee’s skyline, is another example of County Executive Abele’s successful record on job creation and represents a major piece of the downtown Milwaukee renaissance that has taken place since Abele took office in 2011.

Over the next two years, the Couture will be developed into a 44-story, $122 million mixed use development project that is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs, with an emphasis on hiring County residents and disadvantaged business entities. The currently tax exempt property will generate $68 million in new value and add 300 new residential units.

“Finally, after years of hard work, the County’s next great economic development project, the Couture, is moving forward,” County Executive Chris Abele said. “Getting big, complicated things done takes time, leadership, and perseverance, but when we overcome these challenges the payoff is huge. Instead of an underutilized transit center on our lakefront, Milwaukee will now have at the Couture a national model for transit-oriented development, connecting people with jobs and opportunities all over the county. I thank developer Rick Barrett for his unwavering commitment to this project and to Milwaukee. I can’t wait to see shovels in the ground as our trades unions build the Couture.”

The Couture has been designed, from the ground up, to be a key part of the Lakefront Gateway project, including a multimodal transportation hub incorporating pedestrian walkways and bridges, traditional county buses, the County’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit line, bikes and the streetcar. It will include more public space on the site than currently exists with the Transit Center – including 97% of the building footprint.

Workforce development is also a key priority for the developer, as well as the County and the City. Rick Barrett has committed an additional $100,000 toward an apprenticeship training program being run by Employ Milwaukee. Together with a grant from Employee Milwaukee, and other County resources, there will be $500,000 in training resources to help County residents gain family-supporting careers in construction.

The Couture will also meet or exceed both City and County hiring targets, including utilizing County residents for 40% of the work on the project and utilizing Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for at least 25% of the project.

“Today’s announcement is all about new jobs and new economic development for our County and City. We are thrilled that we can now move forward on this transformational project that will bring 2,000 new jobs, build the pipeline of new talent and add millions in new tax base to support key City and County services,” developer Rick Barrett said.  “It also helps achieve what the Downtown Transit Center was meant to become – a vibrant, multi-modal transportation hub at Milwaukee’s lakefront – all while improving access to the lakefront and adding a signature building to Milwaukee’s skyline.”

Renderings and Plans

Press Releases by Chris Abele

Chris Abele

Milwaukee County’s Approach to Mental Health Reform is a National Success Story

In a series of interviews spanning several months, Buzzfeed documented the work of Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division clinicians Tai Hooper and Hendriel Anderson.

Chris Abele

10 Milwaukee County Accomplishments You Should Know About

Here is a run-down of the top 10 accomplishments we want you to know about from 2016.

Chris Abele

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, State Rep. David Crowley to Host Community Input Session on County Office on African American Affairs

This community input session will take place at the COA Goldin Center 2320 W. Burleigh St.

Chris Abele

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele Statement on Project Labor Agreements

..."I’m concerned that this legislation as crafted could hinder the successful training programs that the building and construction trades are providing the labor force in our region."

Chris Abele

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele Announces Prevention Effort Against Substance Abuse

The campaign is in its second year in Milwaukee County and is part of National Drug and Alcohol Fact Week .

Chris Abele

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele Convenes Community Leaders on Office on African American Affairs

Ralph Hollmon to Spearhead Group’s Discussions on OAAA Hiring and Community Engagement

See More Releases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *