Jeramey Jannene

Wanna Buy Some Park East Land?

Sensing market interest, Milwaukee County is trying to sell a parcel of land -- for the third time.

By - Sep 11th, 2012 09:56 pm
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For Milwaukee County, it seems, the third time is the charm. The County is looking to sell a 2.17 acre parcel of land in the Park East Corridor that has been put on the market twice before. Known as Block 2E, and located between N. Milwaukee St. and Broadway and E. Lyon St. and E. Ogden Ave, it is one of the large lots formerly underneath the elevated Park East Freeway Spur that have been slated for redevelopment since the freeway was torn down in 2003.

An inter-office communication from Craig Dillman, Milwaukee County Manager of Real Estate Services, to County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and Committee on Economic and Community Development Chairperson Patricia Jursik, spells out the rationale for the sale. “With the recent development activity/announcements east of the Milwaukee River, in and around the Park East Corridor and proximate to Block 2E, the market interest in purchasing and developing Block 2E has increased.  Therefore, staff is preparing to re-issue the RFP for Block 2E to entertain the expressions of interest.”

To date Milwaukee County has sold two parcels in the former freeway corridor. One of these, bounded by Lyon St. and Ogden Ave., and Jefferson St. and Milwaukee St., is still vacant, but poised to see development soon with an apartment building from Wangard Partners. The developers are seeking a loan through the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, but the proposal was held at the latest meeting because of union opposition stemming from controversy at another Wangard property.

The other parcel sold by the County is under construction — the Milwaukee School of Engineering Athletic Field and Parking Complex, a development that does not comply with the City of Milwaukee Park East Redevelopment Plan, and some have criticized as not the best use of the land.

The Block 2E parcel was previously put out for bid in 2005 and late 2008.  Richard Curto, of RSC & Associates, secured the rights to a purchase option on the land that was extended numerous times, but RSC never closed on the sale of the lot. RSC & Associates did close on the sale of the adjacent Block 26, but that is now planned for development as Park East Square by Wangard Partners after a number of RSC false starts.

Fair Market Development, led by Robert Schultz, was the only respondent to the 2008 offering. Fair Market proposed the Eco-Square development and backed the controversial MORE ordinance in an apparent attempt to get public financing for their development. Along with countless other developments in 2008 and 2009, Fair Market was never able to secure financing and the purchase option expired.

The proposed Request for Proposals will be discussed at the next meeting of the County Board’s Committee on Economic and Community Development on September 17th. A sample RFP specific to the site has been made available.

Photo Gallery

Development activity in the nearby area.

Categories: Real Estate

5 thoughts on “Wanna Buy Some Park East Land?”

  1. Frank says:

    What ever happened to quality construction? Seems like there is only one architect in this town considering almost all the buildings look the same. I don’t find it surprising at all that the only development that doesn’t fall under the “Milw. Park East Develop. Plan” is the only development that isn’t an eyesore. It’s a shame that the city’s leaders didn’t recognize the true value of this area and the benefits that proper development could have brought to this city. Mark up another “FAIL” for this city. (The new arena will probably be the last nail in the coffin)

  2. Commuter says:

    Besides the future value of tax revenue from new property, what is the rush? Its not like the condo market is white hot and how many more apartments can the city handle? If my count is right, there have been between four and six buildings started/completed in the past couple of years.

    Why not wait for a new, interesting, dynamic proposal to be offered? Something that would truly be a good use of the available land.

    Plus, who wants to live on the corner of 6th and Juneau? There must be more inventive use for that space than another condo/apartment building. Lets look outside the box here, Milwaukee!

  3. Nikki says:

    “Yes, buy condos. Those are great real estate investments.” – said by no one, ever.

  4. Bill Sweeney says:

    I happened to be downtown yesterday and noticed that there seems to be a lot of construction between Water and Jefferson streets, south of Wisconsin Ave. Does anyone know what this is about?

  5. Frank says:

    @ Mr. Sweeney – They are building the new Marriott Hotel in that location.

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