East Library Groundbreaking
Photos capture groundbreaking for new mixed-use development combining East Library, retail and apartments. Take that, Bayshore.
Less than a month after the wrecking ball started swinging at the East Library, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on the same site for a new library. Not only will the new library bring a litany of improvements, but it will come with added tax dollars for the City of Milwaukee. In place of the obsolete library facility, a new mixed-use building dubbed The Standard at East Library will begin rising. Scheduled to open in late 2014, the new building will not only include a new library facility, but 99 apartments and a 6,000 square-foot retail space. The apartments and retail space will bring not only tax dollars to the City, but vitality to a neighborhood that is experiencing a substantial boost in density (apartment projects include: Park Lafayette, Latitude, Prospect Mall, and Pizza Man site). As Alderman and Library Board member Nik Kovac wryly describes it, “East North Avenue will continue to be the place that Bayshore pretends to be.”
Also on hand at the event were East Side Business Improvement District Director Jim Plaisted, East Side BID Marketing Manager Andrea Rowe Richards and her husband State Assembly Representative Jon Richards, their son (who has a future in construction and appears in the customary dirt flipping photo), former Library Board member and south side Alderman Terry Witkowski, and East Library branch manager Rachel Collins. The well-attended event drew many from the neighborhood, as well as the architecture teams from Engberg Anderson (handling the exterior and non-library portion of the development) and Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson (the new library interior). Representatives from BMO Harris and Stevens Construction were present, as they serve as the project’s primary lender and general contractor respectively. Rounding out the attendance were many representatives of the city ranging from Milwaukee Public Library employees to Department of City Development staffers.
We covered the opening of the temporary East Side library at 2430 N. Murray Ave. a few weeks ago, and have covered this project since 2010. For a history on the project and more details, see our East Library building page.