Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Talgos being Mothballed, Bike Corrals Return, YP Week, and More

By - Mar 21st, 2012 06:10 pm
1601 N. Jackson St. Updated Rendering

1601 Jackson Apartments Rendering

Welcome to the fifth installment of Eyes on Milwaukee. This week we take a look at mothballing the new Talgo trainsets for the Amtrak Hiawatha line, the return of the bike corrals, Young Professional Week, free music from the Milwaukee Public Library, and more.

Talgo Trains to Stay Parked

The Talgo trainsets that Wisconsin bought under the Doyle Administration might never be used. Governor Walker has signed off on the Joint Finance Committee’s proposal to mothball the soon to be completed trainsets. I’ll have more on this in a future article, but it’s certainly a disaster on multiple levels.

Bike Corrals

At least one of the bike corrals is back in action. During my walk to the office today I witnessed the one on Warren Street next to the The Nomad being put back in. Expect to see the Alterra and Cafe Hollander bike corrals later this week. For a refresher on bike corrals, see our previous articles.

YP Week

Soon you’ll be hearing a lot more about Young Professional Week. Starting April 16th and running through April 21st, NEWaukee will host a week-long event dedicated to showcasing and celebrating Milwaukee’s Young Professional organizations.

A substantial number of events are planned as pat of the week ranging from river cleanups to Spreenkler meetups with galas and Gallery Night in-between.

Yours truly will be participating in a panel with Aldermen Robert Bauman and Nik Kovac on the Milwaukee Streetcar the night of April 16th, the event will be held in Foley & Lardner’s offices on the 40th floor of the US Bank Center. Come to ask questions about the streetcar project and Milwaukee transit, or come simply to enjoy a cocktail and the view, but we hope to see you there.

More details to follow on the event, but you can follow the progress at

Free MP3’s from the Milwaukee Public Library

The Milwaukee Public Library now provides up to three free MP3 downloads a week from Sony Music thanks to a $45,000/year deal with the Freegal download service. I used the new service to download the first three tracks of the new Bruce Springsteen album, Wrecking Ball.

Development News

The City Plan Commission approved the 1601 Jackson Apartments project for the second time. I had previously indicated that the City Plan Commission had held the file, that was incorrect, they had approved a different version of the project, and the Zoning, Neighborhood & Development Committee had held the file. Dave Reid has more.

The tower crane at The Moderne has come down, indicating that construction continues to draw closer to a close. The building is expected to open ahead of schedule in September.

Sean Ryan did one of his Take 5 columns with Anna-Marie Opgenorth, of Historic Milwaukee, Inc.

MSOE has completed its purchase from Milwaukee County of the Park East land required for the university’s new parking garage. The school is planning a ground breaking ceremony for May 4th. Dave Reid has previously weighed in on the project with a list of issues and concerns.

If you’re still interested in the idea of Kohl’s relocating to downtown Milwaukee, Sean Ryan has more information on the relocation plans. Additional sites pitched to Kohl’s included the Reed Street Yards, 1st and Greenfield near Rockwell Automation, Park East land east of the river, and a substantial portion of The Brewery.

The Redevelopment Authority will spend up to $1.1 million to purchase the land currently occupied by the Sydney Hih building. The building (or more exactly, buildings) were acquired as part of the attempt to lure Kohl’s headquarters to downtown. The city will market the site as part of the larger block it sits on, hopefully allowing the County to divest itself of more Park East land.

At least 20% of the $150 million the Potawatomi Bingo Casino hotel will be built by minority contractors according to the Forest County Potawatomi Community.

Changes are coming down the legislative pipeline for the City of Milwaukee’s historic preservation laws.

CityCenter at 735 is being certified LEED Silver. It will become the only LEED certified multi-tenant office building in downtown. Improvements have resulted in the building saving an estimated 1 million gallons of water a year. We previously profiled some of the changes coming to the building in December of 2010.


Despite that he appeared to be a reluctant candidate in the 2010 election, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett keeps showing more and more signs that he will run for Governor in the recall election. The latest sign being a fundraising letter with a heavy emphasis on Governor Scott Walker.

Robin Vos is floating the idea of ending the all night sessions that plague the Assembly and Joint Finance Committee. Republicans blasted the all night Joint Finance Committee sessions during the last years of the Doyle administration, but upon taking control of the Assembly and Senate did nothing to fix the problem. Rules that restrict the hours in which the Wisconsin State Legislature can meet seem logical to me given the propensity for midnight sausage making.

Openings and Closings

Charro will be closing both on Milwaukee Street and in Brookfield. The SURG Restaurant Group will reopen the Brookfield location with an American theme, while the downtown location will close entirely.

Hotch-A-Do is closing for a remodel. The restaurant will close on April 2nd for two months and will emerge with a menu focused on brunch.

Ian’s Pizza is opening a second location, but has yet to reveal the location. My guess is the former What’s Fresh Deli on Juneau Avenue.

John Hawks Pub is profiled by Damien Jaques of The restaurant recently changed owners when Brian Ward, of Ward’s House of Prime, bought it.

Jownai Fouquest, the new Thai restaurant that replaced Abu’s on Farwell Avenue is reviewed by Carol Deptolla.

Urban Milwaukee Book Club

The Urban Milwaukee Book Club will meet again on April 10th to discuss Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City, a 2011 book by Andrew Ross about Phoenix. More details to follow this week.

Photo of the Week

Recall Walker by Wrokic

Recall Walker by Wrokic

10 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Talgos being Mothballed, Bike Corrals Return, YP Week, and More”

  1. Hyrax Suzuki says:

    Ha! What’s up with that Recall Walker sign? Was it a prank? How long did it last?

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @Hyrax I’m not sure what you mean?
    UPDATE silly me… It was a group supporting the recall movement… I think they just did it.

  3. Jesse Hagen says:

    It’s not a prank, that’s democracy in action

  4. getch says:

    Given all the issues that people are upset with walker, John Doe investigation.. it must be MJS marketing ploy to sell more newspapers or online subscriptions.

  5. Alex says:

    I may have to head down to Milwaukee to talk about Bird on Fire with you guys. If only I could catch a high-speed train from Minneapolis…

  6. Dave Reid says:

    @Alex Yeah and now we’re not even going to use the trains! that were built… oh boy

  7. Heather Murphy says:

    The Joint Committee on Finance did NOT order the DOT to mothball the trains. The JCF does not have that kind of authority over the executive branch. Instead, the JCF only refused to give the DOT money to do engineering on building a new permanent maintenance facility that wasn’t supposed to be in place until 2014 anyway.

    As it stands, the DOT still has a binding contract to have the trains in service and to allow Talgo to maintain the trains at the present temporary maintenance facility.

    Any decision to mothball the trains – and to waste the $40+ million investment – would be the DOT’s alone, guided by Governor Doyle. That would be a catastrophic decision and would subject the state to litigation risking more than $100 million in damages.

  8. Heather Murphy says:

    Oops, I meant the decision to mothball would be guided by Governor WALKER, not Governor Doyle.

  9. Jeramey Jannene says:


    You are correct, I oversimplified the JFC’s action on the issue. It should be interesting to watch the issue play out, to say the least.

  10. Wayne Curtis says:

    @Hyrax Suzuki The protest was real. It’s discussed here

    I happened to stumble upon the protest when exiting a MAM (Milwaukee Art Museum) After Dark event.

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