Graham Kilmer
Plats and Parcels

Money for Amazon for Startups?

Milwaukee 7 leader Jim Paetsch floated the idea. Plus: more apartment projects.

By - Mar 18th, 2018 05:24 pm
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Mobile Amazon billboard. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Mobile Amazon billboard. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Sean Ryan at the Milwaukee Business Journal had an interesting story this week about an idea that Jim Paetsch had.

Paetsch is the vice president of Milwaukee 7, a regional economic development partnership, and he’s tossing it out there that, perhaps, the city should give Amazon cash to invest in local start ups rather than funds aimed directly at the behemoth’s bottom line. This would be as part of an incentive package to bring the company’s second headquarters here.

Paetsch proffered the idea to Rocky Marcoux in an email in October, Ryan reported. The firm would have operated the fund, which would invest in local Milwaukee startups, and would be allowed to receive any profits from the investments. So, essentially, it’s an incentive idea that is mutually beneficial.

Ryan pulled this story off through open records requests. Thanks Mr. Ryan. And readers of this should follow Ryan and subscribe to the Business Journal. Good journalism like that needs your cash.

Also, subscribe to Urban Milwaukee, they need your cash, too. You lousy freeloaders.

Apartments in the News… Again

Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote about the Germania Building this week.

The $22 million project contains a 50/50 mix of market rate and affordable housing units, Daykin reported. The developers of the project also got about $1.5 million in city funds for the project and thus were required to meet local hiring goals through the Residents Preference Program.

A project from Developer Rick Weigand to turn an old school into a hotel is moving on from the City Plan Commission, Urban Milwaukee’s Jeramey Jannene reported.

This project, while it’s being created by the developer, is only possible because a moratorium on selling vacant school properties to anyone other than school operators expired in 2017. So now this vacant school is set to become 23 hotel suites.

Another story from Jannene this week was about The Yards, an apartment project slated for Walker’s Point. The project’s design received rave reviews at the City Plan Commission, he reported.

The Yards is yet another project in booming Walker’s Point, as Jannene points out. And it’s being developed by Linden Street Partners, an out-of-town firm that’s also behind The Quin, located kitty-corner from the site for The Yards.

Federal Funding Falls Through for Streetcar Arena Connection

Federal funding for an extension of the Milwaukee Streetcar line will not be materializing for the city, Jannene reported.

Milwaukee has now failed twice to secure funds to connect the line to the Milwaukee Bucks new arena from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program administered by the federal government.

The streetcar is expected to spur development and spending along its line. Though the Bucks owners were probably not banking on a streetcar as a linchpin of success, so my gut tells me they’ll be fine either way. But connecting to the arena would likely have been a boon for ridership once the arena opens and their Live Block is inundated with hordes (we hope) of out-of-towners on game days.

Anyways, the first streetcar is expected to start gliding through Cream City streets in April. But because of federal guidelines for testing, Milwaukee residents won’t be able to ride the cars until November at the earliest.

In Other News:

  • MKE Brewing is seeking a loan for their new place to the tune of $500,000, Daykin reported. Please, someone check my math, but I think that’s worth about 50,000 six-packs.
  • The Milwaukee Bar Association is leasing a space that has been vacant for quite some time, Corrinne Hess of the BizTimes reported. They’re moving into 7,000 square feet of space at 747 N. Broadway once occupied by the restaurant Moceans.

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