Milwaukee Public Library
Press Release

Milwaukee Public Library Seeks Community Input

Developers to Present Proposed Plans for Forest Home Library at Public Meeting

By - Nov 21st, 2014 12:45 pm

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek proposals from developers who want to partner on a mixed-use development for the Forest Home or Mill Road branch libraries. MPL is now asking the community to voice their opinions on RFP submissions for the redevelopment of the Forest Home library from two developer teams: Cardinal Capital and Journey House; and Gorman USA, Mitchell Investment Properties and VJS Construction.

The developer teams will present their proposals for the replacement of the Forest Home Library to the community and the MPL Building and Development committee on Tuesday, December 2nd at 5:30 pm at Forest Home Library, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave.  The committee may select a project to recommend to the Library Board.

Residents are invited to complete an online survey and attend the public meeting. Go to www.mpl.org/about/library_development.php to take the survey and get information on the two proposals. The survey and proposal summaries are available in English and in Spanish. They may also be viewed at the Forest Home library.

  • Cardinal Capital and Journey House developer team propose a mixed-use development with 51 units affordable housing (24 for youth aging out of foster care), a 16,500 sq ft library and dedicated on-site parking for library users by tearing down a Dental Associates building and rebuilding on the site located at 1135 S. Cesar Chavez Drive.
  • Gorman USA, Mitchell Investment Properties and VJS Construction developer team propose a mixed-use development with 33 units of affordable housing, a 15,000 sq ft library and dedicated on-site parking for library users by renovating the “Hills Building” at 930 W. Mitchell St.

Both development teams will apply for tax credits.  The Building and Development Committee may make a recommendation to the full Library Board of Trustees to be considered at a special meeting on Tuesday, December 16th at 4:30 pm. MPL plans to begin construction in the fall of 2015.

About the Library Development Project

This plan continues the successful replacement of the Villard Avenue and East branch libraries with new mixed-use buildings.  The Milwaukee Public Library’s Villard Square Branch opened in October 2011.  The new East Branch is scheduled to open tomorrow, November 22, 2014.

Mayor Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee Common Council and the Library Board of Trustees have identified $18 million for the library redevelopment project. MPL anticipates spending $4.5 million on each of the four libraries slated for redevelopment – Forest Home, Mill Road, Capitol and Martin Luther King. In all, five branch libraries will be renovated or replaced. The Tippecanoe Library will be fully renovated, but remain in the same building. The renovation is currently in the design phase and will begin construction in early 2015.  The total amount budgeted for the five libraries in $22.4 million. 

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