Jeramey Jannene

UWM Picks Our Three Favorite Dorm Sites As Finalists

By - Aug 15th, 2008 12:50 pm
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The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Real Estate Foundation announced the final three sites (narrowed from a field of 8) for the new 500 to 700 bed dorm to be built.

In alphabetical order they were…

Boulder Venture: The old Prospect Mall at 2217-2239 N. Prospect Ave. and parking lot at 2214-2228 N. Prospect Ave. between Ivanhoe Place and Kenilworth Place. The Prospect Mall building, bought by Boulder Venture in 2004, has about 42,000 square feet.

Mandel Group, Inc.: Property that abuts Milwaukee River corridor, E. North Ave., N. Cambridge Ave. and Wisconsin Paperboard, 1514 E. Thomas Ave.

Phelan Development, LLC and Towne Investments: 1744 N. Farwell Ave. (southeast corner of N. Farwell Ave. and E. Royall Place).

Our picks for the three best sites were…

Best sites currently for the new UWM freshman dormitory

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

The same three sites. Now we’re not vein or ignorant enough to think that anyone from UWM based their decisions off our conclusions. It is possible though they used some of the same logic we did though to get to their conclusion. They obviously have much more data than we do, but at this point let’s go over again what we know about each site.

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 #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.

Let the debate continue.


7 thoughts on “UWM Picks Our Three Favorite Dorm Sites As Finalists”

  1. Tim Bailen says:

    Totally. Those sites feel the best to me, too. It would be great to see Prospect Mall redeveloped.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @ Tim Bailen Yea it just seemed like those were the most logical sites. And well to me looked like great fun places to live while going to college!

  3. Zach W. says:

    I’m partial to site #4, but I suppose that’s because I would have loved to live in a location like that when I was in college.

  4. So… what about that gigantic soon-to-be-empty hospital across the street from UWM?

    Did the locals have enough cachet to keep the university out of it? (I don’t get how anyone can move in next to a huge university and then complain about how awful it is that there’s a huge university in their neighborhood….)

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @robert power Well yes I agree that should be a good site for UWM. And it may still be for the next dorm project UWM does but because it isn’t empty yet it didn’t meet the timeframe for this dorm project. And Columbia St Mary’s put out an RFP for the site and it is possible they be asking for more than UWM can afford (we’ll find out eventually). That said it is the most logical choice for UWM expansion and if UWM doesn’t expand there because of the neighbors that would be a huge loss for Milwaukee.

  6. Kate Madison says:

    Boo!!! As a resident who lives smack dab in the middle of all three of those dorm sites, I cannot disagree more with any of those choices, especially in light of the fact that UWM seems to have no problem picking a site for the engineering school/campus way outside of the city! I think my biggest concern regarding the dorm locations is the maturity level of these students – if this were 500 to 700 upper classmen or graduate students living in dorms, I don’t think it would be a problem, but we are talking about 500 to 700 freshmen and sophomores, letting them loose in and around two of the biggest bar districts in Milwaukee. These are the students that really belong on campus. Unfortunately, when they are off campus, UWM pretty much relies on the Milwaukee Police to monitor their behavior, but as a lower Eastside resident, city police have much more important things to do than breaking up underage parties (ie unless its really bad, they just don’t show up). And trust me, its Milwaukee, there will be drinking – and if they can’t do it in the dorms, they will sneak into bars, or go to the off campus housing, and will create more chaos for neighbors. Most of us homeowners in the lower Eastside wanted it contained to the upper Eastside, but apparently that just wasn’t in the cards. It just seems to me that this is yet another case of UWM running roughshod over the public. I think, though, that this would probably be a much easier pill to swallow had UWM decided to put the engineering school downtown, though.

  7. Lindsey says:

    I totally agree with Kate. However, I am more than upset that UWM is going to dump 700 more residents, especially on Farwell & Royall. Not to mention, that site is the furthest from UWM. But, boy, it’s a damned good place to party – lovely, just what we need, more loud drunks. UWM students are not held to any good conduct rules off their campus and face no disciplinary action when caught urinating on sidewalks, lawns, whatever is handy, throwing up on street corners, and other inappropriate conduct, like I said, just what we need. Far as I’m concerned, UWM could wait for the Columbia campus to open up. As mentioned in a previous post, residents near UWM moved in KNOWING there was a university in their neighborhood. My neighborhood didn’t sign up for the UWM intrusion when we bought into the Brady Street neighborhood.

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