Sales Tax, Bradley Center Transportation, The Moderne, and More
Welcome to the third installment of Eyes on Milwaukee. This week we take a look at Milwaukee’s sales tax rate compared to other major cities, the Bradley Center’s new transportation option, UWM’s continued insistence on growing parking subsidies, and a whole lot of development news.
The Tax Hell We Might Not Live In
Despite the public sentiment that the taxes are just too high in Wisconsin, it turns out that it’s quite cheap to eat out here when taxes are considered. The Tax Foundation has found that Milwaukee has the second cheapest “meal taxes” of the 50 largest cities in the country when the sales tax and any additional meal taxes are considered (Portland is first, or last depending on your position). Milwaukee weighs in at a combined tax of 5.65%, compared to first and second place Minneapolis and Chicago at 10.775% and 10.75%.
Yet another example of the odd tax distribution in Wisconsin. In a more logical world Milwaukee could leverage a higher sales tax (or even just a meal tax) to fund road repairs and other transportation needs as opposed to relying heavily on the property tax levy. This would do a better job of charging those that drive on local streets frequently, but aren’t residents of the city.
The Bradley Center and Transportation
The Bradley Center is set to unveil BC Easy Ride on April 19th. The program will provide round-trip service to the Miranda Lambert concert taking place on that day from Madison, Elkhorn, and Mukwonago.
Hopefully the service helps attract people to the city that are afraid, concerned or incapable of driving downtown. With any luck they’ll see what a nice place our fair city is and come back for a bit longer next time.
Worst case scenario, the program keeps a few drunk drivers off the road in Milwaukee. Though all bets are off on how they get home from the Park and Ride drop points.
Larry Sandler has more on the Lake Parkway extension following last week’s public hearing.
More UWM Parking Subsidies
In another example of mind-boggling policy at UWM, the Student Association is close to a deal for 200 more “free” parking spaces. Instead of sanely metering the spaces, the Student Association will raise the segregated fees of all 30,000+ students by $6.50 a year to pay for 200 students to park everyday.
For those keeping score at home, in the past two years the Student Association has managed to raise the annual cost of attending school by $26.60 on all 30,000+ student to pay for 900 parking spots.
The Moderne Tops Off
In case the cold weather has kept you from looking up recently (you have no excuse given today’s irregularly warm weather), there is a new tower west of the river. The Moderne topped off in the past week at 30 stories and expects to open to residents in September. The development is slated to have 203 apartments and 14 condominiums.
The Point on the River and Karl Kopp’s 100 Seeboth
The Point on the River, formerly First Place on the River before receivership, is very close to selling out with only 7 of the 147 units remaining further dispelling the misguided notion that Milwaukee is littered with hundreds of unsold, high-rise condos.
Next door to The Point on the River, Karl Kopp (of Kopp’s and Elsa’s on the Park fame, as well Arizona and New York restaurants) is finally poised to do something with 100 E. Seeboth St. The building is currently an unintentional experiment in urban agriculture with a tree growing through the roof, leaving the new development to likely only retain the south and west facades.
Also of random Karl Kopp interest, he developed a townhouse at 277 Mott Street in Manhattan’s SOHO neighborhood. The Google Maps Streetview images clearly show an LLC as the owner located at 833 N. Jefferson Street – the home of Elsa’s on the Park. What will it take him to develop an infill townhouse at this Milwaukee location on Milwaukee Street?
The Italian Community Center is moving ahead with Marcus Corp. on a mixed-use development for their massive parking lot in the Historic Third Ward. Given the size of the lot, the development could redefine the size of the neighborhood. Here’s to hoping something positive happens there.
KBS Construction chairman Dennis Klein is looking to buy the city-owned block at the southeast corner of 27th and Wisconsin. Klein is also looking for additional public aid to help construct a 48,700 office building for the Wisconsin Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.
Rick Wiegand, owner of the Ambassador Hotel, bought the 19-unit apartment building at 2125 W. Kilbourn Avenue near 21st Street. Wiegand owns approximately 12 apartment buildings.
The Best Western Inn Towne hotel on West Wisconsin Avenue is still for sale.
RSC & Associates is back (sort of), looking quite promising this time to actually break ground on their Park East parcel.
There are plans coming together for a residential development project on the Gallun Tannery site.
Apparently some friction is developing between Joel Lee and Irgens Development over the plans for the Washington Square office project. No surprise given that Baker Tilly opted for the US Bank Center.
The Milwaukee Water Council closed on the purchase of 223 W. Pittsburgh Avenue. Renovation work will begin this summer.
Peter Sciortino‘s Bakery is plotting an expansion that will require the demolition of an adjacent home.
Brandon Jennings Relocates
At some point Brandon Jennings relocated to the Mandel Group’s Marine Terminal Lofts in the Historic Third Ward from his previous residence in St. Francis. In his latest commercial for Under Armour, Jennings shows off what he did over the All-Star two weekends ago. One can only hope at some point he finds consistency with his jump shot.
Openings and Closings
Odd Duck – A new restaurant is coming to Bay View in the former Future Green space.
Schlitz Park will add a new cafe to the RiverCenter atrium space that will serve breakfast, lunch, and snacks replacing Elliot’s Off-Broadway Deli.
Fanatics Sports Central is closed for maintenance.