Jeramey Jannene

Where Is The New UWM Dorm Going?

By - Aug 7th, 2008 12:10 pm
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To be honest, we don’t know exactly. But we do know that they’ve proposed 8 sites, and we’ll break down each one to determine which one we think might be the best. Our best and worst rankings are available at the bottom of the article.

Site #1 – The Prospect Mall
Actual Location: Prospect Avenue between Ivanhoe Place & Kenilworth Place
What’s There Now: Former Prospect Mall, currently empty, along with surface parking lot across Farwell
Note: We have heard that this project would potentially only use the east side of Prospect, the surface parking lot and Qdoba. We are unsure how it would integrate into the currently empty mall. If this is true, it could change our ranking (see bottom of article) of the site.  UPDATE We contacted Boulder Venture to clarify this question but they are unable to comment on the proposal at this time.


  • Close to other dorm (Kenilworth) and close to campus
  • On an existing bus route (30)
  • Uses a currently unused property
  • Would help area businesses by delivering 500 new customers
  • Would please students to be close to other students


  • Would create another cluster of students possibly creating more neighborhood backlash

Site #2 – Near Brady Street Site
Actual Location: 1744 N. Farwell Avenue, Southeast Corner of North Farwell Avenue and East Royall Place
What’s There Now: Surface Parking Lot


  • Would deliver 500 new customers to Brady Street area
  • Replaces existing surface parking lot
  • Close to entertainment for students
  • On existing bus route (30)


  • Would be furthest dorm from campus

Site #3 – Near Beerline Site
Actual Location: 1887 N. Water Street, just west of Humboldt Avenue
What’s There Now: Empty Warehouse Building, former home of Pro Graphics Inc


  • It’s near the Good Life which is fun to eat at? (and Wolskis)
  • It’s a short walk to Brady Street (although not as close as the other site)
  • Next to river


  • Would draw continued opposition from nearby condo owners
  • Site could be better capitalized by condo development
  • Next door to empty Gallun Tannery (wouldn’t necessarily encourage condo development there)
  • Close to an existing transit route (10), but transit route does not go through campus
  • Awkward walk to Riverview, despite being just across the river
  • Potentially difficult spot for shuttle bus to pick-up/drop-off from.

Site #4 – Hometown Gas Station
Actual Location: 1436 North Avenue
What’s There Now: Abandoned gas station


  • On North Avenue near entertainment district
  • On existing transit route (21)
  • Inbetween both Riverview and Kenilworth dorms
  • Next to river
  • Easy for current UWM Shuttle to stop here on route from Riverview


  • Would draw ire of many residents because of Milwaukee River Overlay District due to its spot along river
  • Nearby residents would certainly raise a fuss about parking, congestion, regardless if it were true or not.

Site #5 – Humboldt Avenue Site
Actual Location: 2628, 2650, and 2660 North Humboldt Avenue, just south of Center Street
What’s There Now: Collection of buildings


  • On existing bus route that goes downtown, but not to campus (10)
  • Next to river
  • Would integrate well if Riverview shuttle went up Humboldt, then down Locust to get to campus
  • Would help revitalize businesses along Center Street


  • Would draw ire of many residents because of Milwaukee River Overlay District due to its spot along river
  • Close, but yet not, to Riverview dorm, awkward walk
  • Not a good connection to campus without UWM shuttle
  • Would certainly irritate neighbors with noise of freshman students walking to keg parties in the area

Site #6 – Holton Terrace
Actual Location: 2825 N. Holton Street, at the intersection of Holton and Locust
What’s There Now: Green space adjacent to Holton Terrace public housing


  • Would utilize what is currently underutilized land, which long-term may be catalytic to other development along Locust and Holton


  • Perception of being next to public housing facility would be negative, regardless of how safe the facility is.
  • Neighborhood would likely reject students and be irritated with their noise
  • Not near any retail or entertainment districts

Site #7 – Tracks Tavern and Grille
Actual Location: 1020 E. Locust Street
What’s There Now: Tracks Tavern and Grille, surface parking lots, and a few apartments


  • Would replace surface parking
  • Would be near existing new development (Alterra Coffee on Humboldt)
  • Would be catalytic to other development near the intersection
  • Would integrate well if Riverview shuttle went up Humboldt, then down Locust to get to campus
  • Would likely not generate resistant from neighbors
  • Connected to campus during school year with bus (60)
  • Next to two parks


  • Awkwardly close, but yet separated from main campus
  • Not near other entertainment/retail options other than Alterra [there are some bars on locust]
  • Next to two parks that are overly big and underlit at night, might not be well used by students at night out of fear

Site #8 – Heinemann’s Commissary
Actual Location: 1300 E Locust Street
What’s There Now: Heinemann’s Commissary located in a small building


  • Would integrate well if Riverview shuttle went up Humboldt, then down Locust to get to campus
  • Connected to campus during school year with bus (60)


  • Small lot, tall building
  • Would likely draw opposition from residents over Milwaukee River Overlay District despite tall public housing facility next door
  • Along busy street
  • Close, but awkwardly far from main campus because of long Locust Street bridge
  • Would not be positioned well to generate neighboring new development
  • Students would be fairly isolated, with longer walks to any retail or entertainment.

Best sites currently for the new UWM freshman dormitory

1. Prospect Mall Site
2. Near Brady Street Site
3. Hometown Site

Worst sites currently for the new UWM freshman dormitory

1. Near Beerline Site
2. Holton Terrance
3. Humboldt Avenue Site

View Larger Map

Categories: Real Estate

10 thoughts on “Where Is The New UWM Dorm Going?”

  1. Steven Schrab says:

    Hometown site seems like a good place in my book. I could also see Tracks Tavern and Grille if some shuttle routes were modified (I don’t know if that’s possible or not).

  2. Wayne D. says:

    One day, Milwaukee will see light rail transit. LRT lines are a natural for areas of the city that have a heavy mix of retail, apartments, condos, restaurants, entertainment venues, and student housing.

    Therefore, IMO the best new UW-Milwaukee dorm sites are the underused Prospect Mall Site and the site on Farwell near Brady Street.

    Unfortunately, even though local politicians are currently in a big dumb and childish stalemate in regards to LRT, the city’s planning commission should encourage new development along already dense corridors, where LRT lines will eventually run.

    Just imagine modern and sleek LRT cars linking the UW-Milwaukee campus and current student dormitories to the new dormitories on Kenilworth, to the Prospect Mall Site, the Farwell/Brady Street Site, entertainment venues, east-side shopping, Brady Street; downtown condos, jobs, shopping, riverwalk, restaurants, clubs, sporting events and museums.

    Once downtown, connect to one of two LRT lines; the first running through the 3rd & 5th Wards (jobs, shops, clubs, the new Harley-Davidson Museum, condos, festivals), Walker’s Point (jobs, clubs, condos) to Mitchell Int’l Airport; the second LRT line would travel to the Menomonee Valley (more jobs, Potawatomi Casino), Miller Park and out to the Milwaukee Medical Center area (Medical College of WI, Froedtert and Children’s Hospitals, Milwaukee Research Park, and possible site of the new Engineering School for UW-Milwaukee).

    Milwaukee must not be afraid of it’s vast potential.

    Again, IMO, the best new UW-Milwaukee dorm sites are the underused Prospect Mall Site and the Farwell/Brady Street Site.

    Sorry for getting a little off topic. 🙂

  3. A Sutton says:

    As a resident of Riverwest (location of four sites) my sincere hope is that they select a site where a suitable structure consistent witht the neighborhood can be achevieved. With the postage-stamp size of some of the proposed locations (Heinemans commissary is less than 3/4’s of an acre) I’d hate to see some near-downtown-style eyesore go up in our low-key, residential neighborhood.

  4. I think your ranking is correct. This project and possible other dorms could be the catalyst, along with Columbia St. Mary’s new facility, to return rail to the Prospect / Farwell corridor. Let’s get a train from UWM through downtown to Marquette and beyond.

  5. JAmbrowiak says:

    No offense, but there seems to be a little Brady street bias in your rankings.

    Anyway, I would assume an equal element of resident opposition for all proposals and it seems too much weight is given to reactionaries that try to stop anything from being built near the river.

    It seems to me the Hometown site and the Center street site are the best locations to site the new dorm. Obviously the Hometown site because it has a perfect setting on the river, is near the existing off-campus dorms, and is close to everything on North Ave. It also is unlikely to be a hot location for condos any time soon due to its proximity to Wisconsin Paperboard and the traffic on North. It’s also directly on public transit to the campus, downtown, and other areas of the city not to mention near many parks and trails.

    The Center street site is also ideal because it is very accessible to campus via existing public transit as well as any shuttles that UWM would run between their facilities. It’s has more of a neighborhood feel and it is located adjacent to an interesting area that many of the students might not get exposed to initially otherwise. Also, I doubt the river issue would come up here, even less than other locations because the former railroad ROW is the eastern boundary of this proposal, meaning that there is no interaction with the river corridor.

    Take my opinions for what they are, hopefully Milwaukee will end up with a great quality building that is an asset for years to come.

  6. matthew says:

    I would consider the Prospect Mall and the Hometown site to be the two best sites.
    I think the Prospect Mall site is good because it is on the 30 bus route, it is located adjacent to a current student housing project which has not recieved any complaints yet, and it would continue to increase the density of development in the North Ave area while matching scale with the other buildings in the neighborhood. North Ave is a nice student orientated area with a bowling alley, a theatre, coffee houses, bars and resturants which all blend in nicely with various options for students while being only a 10 minute bike ride from campus.
    The Hometown Site is another great location because it is just across the river from Pick and Save, and the Riverview Dorms. It is located on North Ave, in a neighborhood where there really are not that many houses adjacent to the site, and it is within walking distance of everything on North Ave, it is 2 blocks from the 15 route, and right on the 21 route which both go to campus, and it is also only a 10 minute bike ride to campus.

  7. Wayne D. says:

    What’s with all this bike ride crap??!!

    How many people are going to ride a bike to school when the temperatures get below freezing? answer: maybe 2 students. Then what?

    The proposed dorm needs to be located on a top transit line with frequent service, and on or near a future light rail line.

    Milwaukee gov’t officials needs to utilize this project to it’s fullest extent, as an economic development catalyst.

  8. CJ says:

    Prospect Mall site seems the best, next to current UWM development and bus routes. Gas station location next best. Seems to me that keeping developments close together would be in the best interest of the school and the students.

  9. M.R. Jackson says:

    Clarification for a sentence in the introduction: “But we do know that they’ve proposed 8 sites.”

    Just to be clear, the “they” is eight non-university organizations and not UWM.

    The sites have been proposed by developers to the UWM Real Estate Foundation, which is now considering the concepts.

    The university has not proposed these sites.

  10. Dave Reid says:

    @ MR Jackson That is a good point UWM simply put out an RFP asking for proposals and 8 developers brought forward plans.

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