Dave Reid

A Postcard Location for UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences

By - May 26th, 2009 11:45 am


It’s certainly good that we value our parks, public places, and the lakefront, so a public debate over the appropriateness of placing UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences on Lake Michigan is worth having, but the downtown lakefront is the right location.

Yes, other sites have been suggested, such as the vacant land near the Milwaukee Water Works purification plant on Lincoln Memorial Drive, the port-owned property near the Lake Express terminal, the parking lots just west of the Henry W. Meier Festival Park, sites near the existing Great Lakes Water Institute, and even the Port of Milwaukee Headquarters, but building the facility on any of these sites won’t give the new school the prominence of place the way the Pieces of Eight location will. Unfortunately, it would just be another example of when Milwaukee does something half right.

The Great Lakes Water Institute has been operating in one form or another since the 70’s, at 600 East Greenfield Avenue, and certainly has been involved in important research, but during that time Milwaukee’s hasn’t become the focal point for water research. Of course there are a lot of factors that have held back the institute from rising to greater prominence including the lack of proper funding, and the need for a graduate level school, but also hiding it away where it isn’t visible, where it isn’t prominent, and where it isn’t integral to Milwaukee and Lake Michigan detracts from its ability to be the symbol of Milwaukee’s commitment to water research.  Locating the School of Freshwater Sciences near the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World right on Lake Michigan will only add to its prominence, and help to insure its place as part of Milwaukee’s new image.

If Milwaukee is to become the water capital of the world, then its leading institution needs prominence and visibility. You might say it needs a postcard location.

To learn more about this proposal and possibly lend your support, the Harbor Commission will be holding a public hearing Thursday May 28th, at 6:00 pm at City Hall Room 301-B, 200 E. Wells St. on this proposal.

Categories: Real Estate

35 thoughts on “A Postcard Location for UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences”

  1. Suzanne says:

    Can’t go- do you have an email for the Harbor Commission?
    Also, have you seen photos of Baltimore’s skyline? I have never been there myself, but a friend showed off some amazing vacation photos (she tends to be an intellectual tourist). It looks to be very built up with innovative architecture. I thought it looked great, very forward-thinking- but again, I’ve never been there myself. This thing could be great for Milwaukee.

  2. Stephen F. Thiel says:

    The site is TOO small, factoring in parking, setbacks and that. If you put any height on that building, you will impact the Art Museum and Discovery World. It will stick out like a sore thumb. Also, universities invariably do UGLY buildings (I think it is a product of institutional mind-set) and whatever they do at this site, it has a high likelihood of being crappy.

  3. Dave Reid says:

    @Stephen According to http://thinkmke.com/2009/05/23/why-the-lakefront-for-the-school-of-freshwater-sciences/

    The parking will be below ground, and the height will be limited to 2 stories so it won’t interfere with either buildings.

    I do agree the #1 concern is if the building isn’t some typical institutional design, and I believe that it won’t be. In fact I believe it will be a building worthy of the lake front.

  4. Bill Sell says:

    I like pretty postcards, too, but that’s not what is at stake on the lakeshore. In fact, we have the Calatrava on a zillion postcards and so what? Freshwater Sciences need potential space more than a pretty picture. Tightly bound by the lake, a highway and two museums the design will be unnecessarily restrictive on its own future.

    There are three ideal places for Freshwater Sciences. The Downtown Transit Center, a building waiting to be taken to the dance. Empty, forlorn, and inhospitable to the passenger, the building is the zombie of County Transit cluttering the location with a pointless hunk of concrete barrier to downtown. It desperately needs occupants.

    A second spot is alongside the Water Institute. Put a major school there and you get traffic: thousands of teachers and students. This traffic will spur development on East Greenfield, and outward to First Street.

    And the third, of course, is the Menomonee Valley, which is all about water, wide open to design and flexibility.

    There is plenty of potential space. There needs to be some FreshAir thinking to locate the FreshWater school, not just another tawdry land grab.

  5. Dave Reid says:

    @Bill I’m pretty sure there will be associated development in the Greenfield area. But the point is this facility is supposed to show Milwaukee’s commitment to becoming a world leader in the field of water research, and tucking it away says ehh it’s not that important. This facility will help sell Milwaukee to industry, elected officials, and new researchers. It becomes part of the brand. i.e. Milwaukee… The Fresh Coast. It’s bigger than just a building its about branding Milwaukee which is why the location matters.

  6. Alex says:

    go Milwaukee, go. Build it there, build it right and build it modern, big and contemporary. Build it glass and steel and not masonry style. Its time for Milwaukee to have a skyline and beautiful downtown area.

  7. Todd Montgomery says:

    Dave: Last we talked about the School of Fresh Water Sciences I emphasized that the location as proposed will fill in the fabulous ‘fabric’ that has developed on our lakefront which extends from the Water Purification Plant to the edge of Lakeshore State Park and the gathering of the three Milwaukee Rivers. No other city has this kind of diversity and variety of places to visit, work, learn, play, relax, boat, fish, swim, walk, ride a bike, run, play a sport, or eat a hot dog. Our lakefront is not made up of all the same kinds of spaces, nor should it be. We have done a fantastic job as a community over the years to create an easily accessible and very sustainable environment. The UWM project will really “brand” us positively for years and generations to come. Let’s not stick our head in the sand on this one. Todd

  8. Dave Reid says:

    @Todd Oh yes I believe if done right the UWM proposal could be both part of our new Milwaukee brand, but it could also compliment the lake front making it actually better for all of us. It does require the proposal to be done right, but the potential is very high for a big win for Milwaukee.

  9. Esch says:

    What IS at stake Bill? The landfill lakefront? It is not on the same level as other natural areas you have gotten lathered up about. Come to think of it, I’ve never noticed you supporting ANY development. Have I missed something? This is a city Bill, and nature is best preserved by building things densely here, rather than county parks in Tosa or “Pabst Farms.” This kind of knee-jerk reaction in the name of environmentalism gives environmentalism a bad name and hampers the credibility of any worthy issue you careen into.

  10. MilwaukeeD says:

    I think most people agree that this is a good site for the school of Freshwater Sciences because it is prominent and on the water.

    However, I think some of the concern (or most of it) is “Does this set a precedent for future uses that think the lakefront is the best location for them, will more buildings be proposed in the future and how will the Board of Harbor Commissioners handle those future requests?”

    As a result, I think that it is important for the supporters of this site to make it clear that this is a unique situation and a use that must be on the water and must be in a prominent location…that this is not opening the door for future lakefront development.

  11. Jarred Blaschko says:

    The site should be reclaimed as green space returned to the public for lakefront enjoyment.

    There are plenty of prominent spaces in the city that could use the development. Furthermore, the school could bring prominence to another area in the city.

    “If Milwaukee is to become the water capital of the world, then its leading institution needs prominence and visibility. You might say it needs a postcard location.”

    I couldn’t disagree with this statement more. Attracting and retaining the brightest minds in water science is what will help Milwaukee become a water capital of the world. Location of the ‘building’ is irrelevant.

    The lakefront is no place for a office / school of freshwater sciences @ least not in front of dwtn, that space should be limited to public uses and amenities.

    Considering the opposition to development of a greenfield in Wauwatosa, I’d think we should consider the other options for this lakefront lot rather than development of a school / office that is not intended for all of the cities residents on public space.

  12. Dave Reid says:

    “Attracting and retaining the brightest minds in water science is what will help Milwaukee become a water capital of the world. Location of the ‘building’ is irrelevant. ”

    Location is most certainly not irrelevant. In attracting and retaining talent place matters. In selling the image and, the brand of Milwaukee as the Water Capital place matters. This project isn’t about bringing prominence to another area in the city, it is about bringing prominence to Milwaukee which demands a signature location and facility. Yes, place matters.

    Finally, this site is not a greenfield, nor is it a park. It is a surface parking lot, and restaurant with a lease until 2018, with very little public access to the lake front. If built the School of Freshwater Sciences facility will have far far greater public access than the site does today.

  13. Bill Sell says:

    I don’t know who Esch is, and apparently he(she) does not know me. I have favored development since I woke up as a baby. Development is good, but not all development is wise. I favor rail, which is the trigger for intense and lucrative development that creates dense and efficient modern cities. The “Location” benefit is not a trivial pursuit. There have been many hands up wanting to install some worthy (some not so worthy) edifices on the lakefront. What we need is to plan our lake front after taking a deep breath and trying to understand the city as a large organic whole. There are three rivers that feed our city. Freshwater could rightfully find its place on any of those rivers. I think the adjective “knee jerk” is not well applied to someone with my point of view, which is: let’s think about this and not rush into the Lakefront Institution of the Moment. A couple of years ago it was a warship; thankfully the kneejerks were foiled on that one. Freshwater is a bright idea that needs to be given an appropriate home. What is the Rush? Let the critics weigh in and let us collaborate to agreement, or to make an appropriate place. There is No Hurry.

  14. Bill Sell says:

    Baltimore? You need to visit that city. The tourist attraction you mention is four or five miles away from the Chesapeake Bay. It is in the HARBOR. Which, if you wish to emulate Baltimore, would put the Freshwater on the eastmost point of Greenfield Ave., near Water Institute. I believe in Freshwater; it is a dynamo and will not need to attract tourists, but it will have a need to affect changes in the Milwaukee landscape that draw attention to Water; and it will do that . Being on Baltimore Harbor is sweet but it is nowhere near the experience of walking the shoreline of a Great Lake. The Great Lake needs less help and more appreciators. What needs our help is to create a Harbor like Baltimore did, and not to avoid the challenge. Freshwater and the Water Institute are unparalleled opportunities to do just that.

  15. Esch says:

    Bill, you still haven’t explained what is at stake in specific terms unique to this question of land use. So far I have only seen aesthetic arguments made, like Mary Louise Schumacher’s.

  16. Esch says:

    Oh, and Bill, you also failed to mention any specific building site you have supported.

    Comparing this proposed building site (with no design yet on the table) with the proposal to park an old battleship by the war memorial is quite a stretch.

  17. Bill Sell says:

    Esch, There is a long line of institutions who can make a case to be on the water. What the water needs itself are friends. Freshwater is not just our beautiful lake, which seems to need more friends than egos just now, Freshwater is also our three rivers as well.

    I would suggest, without parking on a river bank itself, being close to any of Milwaukee’s waters. I do like Dave Reid’s comparison to Baltimore, but his logic would put Freshwater in the harbor.

    The best space would probably be a link to the Water Institute on East Greenfield. Put the new school to work as a catalyst for the kind of Development that the city needs. Keep in mind that no matter what we build it can turn tawdry and run down over the years; to avoid that the institution and its neighborhood needs to grow; the institution needs to be able to expand. Putting the school there suggests a very narrow view of what this school can be going forward. The ability to expand in the institution, is not possible in this precious location, which is, oddly, landlocked against new development.

    Bill Sell

  18. Dave Reid says:

    @Bill I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything about Baltimore (I think Suzanne did).

    “There is a long line of institutions”…. I guess I would think a School of Freshwater Sciences, who’s purpose includes making better cleaner safer use of the water deserves a spot on the Fresh Coast, more than most any other institution.

    Again, this project is not about developing some neighborhood in Milwaukee. It is about developing Milwaukee. To continue to do things half right by tucking it away far from view is unacceptable. It’s time to rebrand Milwaukee.

  19. Dave Reid says:

    Further if done right this institute will be creating more public space than there is currently. A lot more. Here are the design parameters:

    * Providing public access to the waterfront (similar to the lake walk along Discovery World’s southern facade).
    * Providing public plazas and/or green space around the new building.
    * Providing public access to the waterfront (similar to the lake walk along Discovery World’s southern facade).
    * Providing public plazas and/or green space around the new building.
    * Placing the parking underground.
    * Providing for a publicly accessible rooftop.
    * Avoiding interference with the Art Museum’s Kiley Garden.
    * Utilizing “green” building materials and efficient building systems.
    * Installing public amenities along the walkways and plaza(s) (benches, lighting).

  20. sarah moore says:

    as a lay person on this matter and reading all these arguments I don’t think the lakefront seems that bad but, it seems to me the Menomonee Valley would be a great place for something like this, mainly so growth could be factored in and put focus on the rivers too which are a huge part of our water system. isn’t the city not trying to make the valley a focal point also?

  21. Bill Sell says:

    Sarah, you said it better than I.

    Dave, All those external amenities can be done without putting a building in the middle of them. Green should be the law anyway. Underground parking is better than asphalt on the beach, but it is still about cars which further limit the School to tight quarters. I submit a vision for this School that is able to prove itself and grow, a school that can enjoy a truly appropriate design, and to expand as needed.

    Your vision of this school in this small spot – confined by the Lake itself, two museums, and a highway, and underground by a parking lot, and above by our consensus that the building not be tall – suggests your confidence in the school’s future is limited. I want this School to grow and be a fabulous presence and, yes, to be put to work as a catalytic development. The school’s future should not be constrained before it is even born.

  22. Dave Reid says:

    @Bill unless there is someone out there willing to buy up the lease that runs through 2018 and actually fund turning it into a greenspace it’s likely this location will stay a surface parking lot and a one story restaurant for quite sometime. Of course if a public university serving the public good for the sake of our water locates there and enhances the space for us.

    Further nothing about this site for this building inhibits its growth, as you yourself point out the transit center across the street could be redeveloped (in my opinion as additional buildings, not the landmark building).

    Again the point is that this project isn’t about being a catalytic project for a neighborhood, but about changing the image of Milwaukee.

  23. Bill Sell says:


    There was a consensus of sorts at the Harbor Commission hearing. Everyone who spoke wants the School of Freshwater Sciences to happen and to succeed beyond the wildest dreams of UWM.

    But Most of the voices wanted it to be somewhere else.

    Reasons given: the space is too small for the concept, and the several ancillary but symbiotic offices that would be included; water in Milwaukee is focused in four bodies (there are three rivers). A building that is hemmed in on all sides will not allow the ancillary businesses to develop that are essential to a modern university: restaurants, laundry, bike shops, copy shops. Students will use cars to get into Downtown, and thus there will never be enough parking. The UWM proposal allows for one boat; if the school were on the harbor it could have as many boats as it wanted. Future growth would ultimately mean moving the school out of the building and find new tenants. 25 year olds who come to see this “campus” will be alarmed by the lack of amenities and may draw the conclusion that Milwaukee is not serious. Several said we need a place where we can expand to fit the growth of the School (that WE ALL want) in the future.

    These objections are from a wide array of citizens, including past board members of the Harbor Commission. This plan is not Field of Dreams thinking (Build it they might not come).


  24. CJ says:

    I think the Lakefront by the art museum is a terrible spot for the School of Freshwater Sciences. It is not a large plot of land and could be better suited to tourism. Why not re-purpose the old Pieces of Eight building to vendor stalls selling food and tourist goods, and if warranted, installing an informational area on the School of Freshwater Sciences on one end of the building. The location is perfect for a tourist hub with the Museum, Discovery World, Betty Brinn and Summerfest sitting around it. Time for Milwaukee to quit hiding it’s best qualities in obscure places and create a place for people to start their journey into Milwaukee on our best asset, our lakefront view.

  25. M says:

    I wonder if UWM would consider looking at the Gallun Tannery Site on Water Street to locate the Freshwater Sciences facility instead of the Lakefront. It is a nearly 6 acre site on the Milwaukee River. Also it is near the new dorms over at North and Commerce. This would be a much better location.

  26. Dave Reid says:

    @Bill Saying they support the idea, and actually supporting the idea are two very different things.

    “Not allow the ancillary business” umm just up the hill is downtown Milwaukee is it not? Students likely will live downtown or on the East Side. Plenty of housing for graduate students in the neighborhood. Further if they drive there are many parking lots and garages not far at all from there, and of course this building will have underground parking. 25 year olds are going to think Milwaukee is serious if we stick it where nobody sees it. Come on. 25 year olds don’t appreciate the lake front? Really? Please, placing it on Lake Michigan is what makes the statement that Milwaukee and UWM is serious. This is about telling the world Milwaukee is series and a School of Freshwater Sciences ought to be on the Fresh Coast.

  27. Lou says:

    It has heen asserted a couple of times in this discussion, that the Pieces of Eight site is not a park or any kind of greenspace. This is a problematic assumption.
    *First, this particular spot is a focal point of convergence of Maier Festival Park, Lakeshore State Park, Veteran’s Park and the Oak Leaf Trail.
    *Second, there is already the Art Museum, Maier Festival Park, Lakefront Discovery World and the Betty Brin thingy, not to mention the Lincoln Memorial.
    *Third, there is a huge and pretty amazing diversity of wildlife right there in the harbor, yes, actually on the water.
    *Fourth, there is a substantial migratory presence right there, and I am not implying Canada Geese. There was actually a Loon in the lagoon within a few feet of the Discovery World this very spring. This same Loon has been sighted in this harbor every year for the past 9 years. With photographs and video footage to document it.

    The biggest problem with the site is that there is heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic across whatever street that is Michigan ave? Adults and children find themselves in precarious situations with automobiles in that intersection continuously. What happens when you add in another thousand automobiles piloted by distracted graduate students and head in the clouds faculty, whose livelihoods depend on the ideal that they can do no wrong? Toss in the fact that the majority are attracted from distant alclaves simply because of their arrogance, with no local accountability or values. So, how does the three year old with the training wheels fare trying to cross over to those glittering crescent thingies?

    Also, how will the year round graduate program fare in summer with, well, the festival traffic?

    List of species sighted right there this year so far:

    Gray Fox (which eat geese and would be evicted by the construction)
    Loon (may not return)
    Long-tailed duck (Typically an Oceanic species (would not return))
    Common Mergansers (would not return)
    Red Breasted Mergansers (a few may return, but not the current population)
    Red Fox (might relocate)
    American Mink (someone’s fur coat wasn’t quite dead yet)
    Common Terns (probably unaffected)
    Common Eider (Duck) (would never be seen again)
    Surf Scoter (would never be seen again)
    Horned Grebe (sightings would become rare)
    Trumpeter Swans (right there by Pieces of Eight!!!)
    Avocets (would be somewhere else)
    Buffle Heads (duck) (would stay further out)
    Ruddy Duck (would stay further out)
    Common Golden Eye (duck) (would stay further out)
    Northern Shovelers (Duck) (would never be seen again)
    Pied billed grebe
    Canada Geese (would increase)
    Herring Gulls (would increase – more nesting sites atop buildings)
    Ring billed gulls (would increase)
    Bonaparte Gulls (uncertain)
    Blue winged Teal (would never be seen again)

    The fact is, that people can openly state that this is not a green space is distinct evidence that a graduate school or research facility is completely unwarranted for this site. What is begged of this site, especially by such blatantly insensitive commentary, is an open viewing area so that actual real people, including both residents and visitors, can get outside and learn about the beings we already share this space with. That the Discovery World and the Art Museum are right there allows many people to come in and learn about the living things that inhabit the lake (including the migrating salmon and trout). (Is the university jealous?)

    Plus, modern graduate studies do not occur outside, in ships, or on the lake. Putting the school on the lake front is the closest many of these students are going to ever get to water. Most studies are so technical, highly specific and laboratory intensive that these people will be lucky to look out the window. Plus the modern videogame generation really doesn’t get out even 10% as much as the 50ish generation. We need to keep open the possibility that the next generation can. A graduate school doesn’t do much for six year olds.

    I’m tired of the worn old rebuttals to reality, this was an FYI, see ya!

  28. Dave Reid says:

    @Lou Love the spirit. But the site currently is a surface parking lot and a 1-story building. That is undeniable. In fact if the UWM building goes in according to the guidelines they have presented there be more green space, and more access, not less, than there is today.

  29. Lou says:

    Construction has to happen in between,

    and the additional traffic hazards are undeniable (I’ve been walking by there regularly for the past 6 years). experience trumps assertion absolutely, except when pretending. like this entire discussion…

    most wildlife, such as those listed will not return to a site where there has been construction in the past three to five years (oh yea, that is a scientific observation). The altered makeup, if the building is too tall or something, will alter the species composition that returns around it, like that which is currently viewable in the harbor. The species composition varies from place to place. Right now, it is the stability of the waterfront (after the calatrava went in) that allows many of the rare beings to stop here.

    And, no i am not an idiot, i know what UWM claims to be planning, but I also know that they know that people believe in their imaginations much too readily, notice the prevalance of religion. And, in case you haven’t been following their trail of local-nature-learning-site usurpation, they have assumed that every natural resource in the city is theirs and the public be damned (how are the vast majority of us to learn about nature?) Oh, and excuse me, I must have reacted to reality and not remained in the complacent illusion you prefer to hide under, it is so much easier to go along to get along, huh, and the answers come prefabricated and so easy … just flimsy.

    But for graduate students to do research doesn’t require a fancy facility; a concrete block with a lab bench is adequate for the sincere. That site would be much better as an open space and without the construction noise that preceeds the ‘convenience’ underground parking.

    Milwaukee river at Estabrook Park, Milwaukee River at North Ave (both sides of river). Milwaukee County Grounds (Monarch roosting site), Milwaukee Lakefront (interdicting two appropriate public spaces)… the list grows. How much ignorance does UWM have to create by their usurping of natural learning spaces to generate their leadership’s salaries? Just who is going to feel welcome on ‘their’ public space?

    Any researcher, spoiled to the extent that they must be ‘attracted’, would never be capable of an objective perspective anyway, they would serve the status quo ONLY and not be worth a hang to real science – which tends, increasingly, to need to oppose the status quo. A show case, is nothing but a rifle case to the usurpers of our collective efforts. This is a project that is worthless to humanity and a hamstring to local morality, with or without the purported public spaces.

    And no you do not ‘ love the spirit’ you opposed it.

    The leadership of UWM has no conscience, maybe because they are all imported… or maybe thats why they must always be imported… similarly your fancy researchers.

    In the late17th century, great britain was running out of surface coal. Every fancy scientist and engineer in the country was working on the problem. The actual solution came from an uneducated tinkerer named Thomas Neucommen, who invented the first heat engine. This engine ran on coal and was powerful enough to pump the water out of the mines, freeing up immense quantities of coal.

    moral? never look to the top. they got there the old way.


  30. Dave Reid says:

    @Lou uh yeah… It occurs to me that Discovery World open in 2006? and wild life is already back in the area correct?

    Again this is a surface parking lot and a one-story building with very little “public” access (unless you wanted in the past to buy dinner), the parameters of the design indicate it will have significant public access that currently does not exist.

    I’m pretty sure the traffic issues and the intersection can be fixed.

    And yes I believe working to create a new image and brand for Milwaukee is more important than saving surface parking lot and one-story building.

  31. Michael J says:


    That’s quite the list of species you’ve implied visit the po8 site. Where can I find them? in the parking lot, on the driveway, next to the metal sea wall, in the tiny bit of green space just south of the building (only green space on the site (see google maps))?

    And the “the modern videogame generation really doesn’t get out even 10% as much as the 50ish generation.” What does that mean exactly? Perhaps you were too busy watching all the ‘buffle head ducks’ at the po8 site to notice the large number of young people running/biking/walking at the lakefront?

    Also, the reason “fancy scientists and engineers,” are “attracted” to good universities (UWM is trying to enhance its capabilities with several new facilities) is because it is there they are able to work with their “fancy researcher” friends on projects that are eventually rendered obsolete by better inventions/ideas created by uneducated thinkers toiling away in their basements (is that you Lou? are you working on something clever down there?)

  32. Bill Sell says:


    I would never state something so oddball as that 25 year olds don’t like being on the lakefront. We all do. And that is why another building there meets resistance. Did you see the map – brought to the Harbor Hearing – of a long list of lake front wannabes? And each of those sites had a compelling argument.

    I am trying to give voice to the future prospect looking at the campus. Like, wow, on the lakefront. Definite Positive. But then, bummer, like, where is a bike shop, a laundromat, a cheap residence, a fast food joint (spare ME), — nowhere to be found in reasonable walking distance of this campus. Reliance on the car is an obvious personal solution to these problems, but that in itself is so retro as to highlight yet another Milwaukee failing, Transit.

    I’d further suggest UWM consult with the City which is now planning our first streetcar line, and let UWM get dibs on property along that line. Now that would be building a future for both Milwaukee and UWM. This line may well run to Brady Street, suggesting north Water, Park East (now) open space which is begging for an anchor tenant. Let it happen.


  33. Dave Reid says:

    @Bill I’m going to try this again. That site is just off of East Town where students could live and play. This is my neighborhood and it is in walking distance and very much in biking distance of numerous options for food, entertainment, and residence. Graduate students would absolutely love living in East Town (I moved here when I was 28), and yes they can afford it.

    Yes, I saw the map. Some projects make sense, most don’t. This is the School of Freshwater Sciences (World Water Center), it ought to be on the Fresh Coast. That says Milwaukee is serious, is moving forward with a vision, plopping it down elsewhere doesn’t.

    As far as UWM gets “dibs” on some piece of land somewhere, unless the city owns it well just isn’t likely or even reasonable.

    PS The MAM has a nice cafe, that would be pretty cool to eat ate I’d think. And the US Bank building has more fast food than any kid could ask for.

  34. Brook says:

    I think what’s missing a little bit in this conversation is any long term vision for the City. Some of the other sites could be great for the City & UWM. There may even be enough land to create a “South Campus” that would render all this silly dropping of buildings throughout the metro area dead. A “South Campus” on the Lake could, in time, have the same visibility and desire that the Pier location has now. And that’s really the point. UWM seems a bit shortsighted to want to just drop something in an existing prominent location instead of carving out their own space. Could it be a great site? Definitely. Could a nice building be done here? For sure. Is it in the best interests of the City’s & UWM’s longterm goals? I don’t think anyone knows what those are… so maybe.

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