Dave Reid
Plats and Parcels

More Delays in Lakefront Development

County board's contradictory proposals on O'Donnell Park and court case affecting The Couture continue to stall potential development.

By - Mar 30th, 2015 05:10 pm
The Couture

The Couture

Last week saw more of the same when it came to development along Milwaukee’s lakefront. Meaning political delays and legal maneuvers.

On March 24th, the Business Journal’s Sean Ryan reported on a plan by Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Gerry Broderick and Patricia Jursik and Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic to have the Milwaukee Art Museum take over control of O’Donnell Park.

But on Thursday, March 26th, according to a story by Ryan, the Milwaukee County Parks, Energy and Environment Committee voted 4-3 to recommend not starting negotiations with the Milwaukee Art Museum to acquire O’Donnell Park. Later in the day, the full county board looked at a measure that would allow the county to issue an RFP and put O’Donnell Park up for sale, and considered the option, that had been rejected at committee earlier in the day, of having the Milwaukee Art Museum take over control of the facility. But according to a story by Ryan the board “voted to send the RFP strategy to corporation counsel for more analysis and advice,” and the MAM options was held as well.

The continued delays prompted Sup. Deanna Alexander to issue a release characterizing the board’s debate over selling the garage as: “Nothing But Talk.”

And just across the street from the O’Donnell Park debate, the legal fight over Rick Barrett’s proposed $122 million, 44-story apartment building, The Couture, continues. Ryan reported that a court filing from Preserve Our Parks requests that a judge void recent legislation that reaffirmed the lake bed line (the shoreline), as recognized by the city since 1913 and the state since 1915.  The court filing argued that, “the best available evidence establishes that the natural and historical shoreline of Lake Michigan as it existed at the time of Wisconsin statehood in 1848 bisects the area now occupied by the transit center.”

Under that definition, O’Donnell Park, the property Johnson Control is reportedly looking into for a signature office development, and even portions of the Historic Third Ward could all be deemed off limits for development. But only if a court rules in favor of the Preserve Our Parks request.

The Couture Renderings

Arena News

On March 24th Business Journal scribe Rich Kirchen reported that the price tag for bonding of the new arena would cost $488 million, or “about $108 million more than a preliminary estimate from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.” Luckily the Milwaukee Bucks owners have cash to burn: as Kirchen also reported,  Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry invested $1 million in a hedge fund co-founded by the son-in-law of Hillary Clinton.

In Other News…

-On March 24th, Ryan reported that the city’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee recommended approval of a lease agreement between Benson Industries, a contractor on the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project, and the city. Benson would pay $207,625 per year to lease 83,050 square feet of the former Talgo building at 3533 N. 27th St., in Century City. This is part of the 30th Street Corridor, that is the focus of redevelopment efforts by the city and other players, as Urban Milwaukee has reported.

-During his time as Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker was a strong proponent of the UW-Milwaukee Innovation Park. He argued it would be good for UWM and Milwaukee County as it would be “kitty corner, across the freeway ,” from the Milwaukee County Research Park. But times have changed, and according to a story by Kirchen, Walker has for the second time delayed funding of a “$75 million building that would be the cornerstone of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Innovation Park.”

-Last week, I reported on Water Tech One’s ground breaking, soon to be held in the Reed Street Yards, but that’s not all that’s happening near the water hub in Walker’s Point. Tom Daykin and the Journal Sentinel reported that The Water Council and HKS Holdings LLC are considering an expansion of the Global Water Center, into a 45,000 square foot building at 326-332 W. Florida St. And opening this summer in the Reed Street Yards?: Sand volleyball courts. Hey, even researchers need to have some fun in the sun.

And in case you missed it, we featured Walker’s Landing in last week’s Friday Photos.

4 thoughts on “Plats and Parcels: More Delays in Lakefront Development”

  1. Will says:

    With liberal organizations like POP and liberal legislators like Gerry Broderick there is no better advertising for the superiority of the Republican party. Thanks guys!
    An old Democrat turned Republican

  2. Dave says:

    Well, we sure as hell know Scott “Dropout” Walker isn’t good advertising for the “superiority of the Republican party”.

  3. Jerad says:

    Only two asinine comments, and the article has been posted for almost 24 hours. Almost impressive.

  4. PMD says:

    I love how an obscure group that less than 1% of the state population can identify is definitive proof that one political party is better than the other.

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