Graham Kilmer
Plats and Parcels

State Office Building Moving to Waukesha?

Plus: Housing to replace billboards on Water Street.

By - Apr 8th, 2018 04:08 pm
Milwaukee State Office Building, 819 N. 6th St. Photo by Dave Reid.

Milwaukee State Office Building, 819 N. 6th St. Photo by Dave Reid.

Now that a new request for proposals has hit the public, it appears the State of Wisconsin is looking to combine a couple major real estate projects it has slated for the Milwaukee area.

Notably, the state is walking back a commitment to keep a planned 165,000 square foot office building in the city. This is because the project has now been tied to the Southeast Wisconsin Law Enforcement Facility project, which involves building a new crime lab worth at least $75 million.

The office building project was first reported in February, when it was announced the state would be selling the State Office Building at 819 N. 6th St. and moving their offices to a new building they planned to construct in the city.

But now that’s changing, the zone for potential sites has been expanded, now that the project has been tied to the crime lab project, to include any potential sites in Waukesha County that could fit both projects on the same site, as was reported by a few outfits this week.

It seems this switchup has squeezed Wangard Partners out of the crime lab project, for now. The development firm had the original contract for crime lab, but it looks like they’ll have to rebid on the new combined project if they still want the project.

819 N. 6th St.

Three Billboards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A small patch of land, accounting for a sliver of the hill that N. Water Street snakes past, has been purchased by developers. Milwaukeeans may know this land by the billboards that have been there for some time.

That’s right, Ogden Multifamily Partners LLC has purchased that prime parcel bordered by N. Jackson and N. Water streets and has plans to combine it with land it owns adjacent to it at 1659 N. Jackson St. for apartments or condos, as Tom Daykin of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

There’s no timeline for the project yet. But, someday we may all be able to say goodbye to those billboards.

In Other News:

And in case you missed it, we featured Nine10 at Land Place building in Friday Photos.

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12 thoughts on “Plats and Parcels: State Office Building Moving to Waukesha?”

  1. Karen G. says:

    It seems to me that moving this building and the services it houses to Waukesha would be a huge hardship for poor people in the area, most of whom live in Milwaukee.

  2. Jeff says:

    It would also be a way for Walker and the GOP to reward Republican Waukesha and punish Democratic Milwaukee. Very convenient.

  3. TransitRider says:

    Assuming it’s even on a Waukesha bus route, travel time from Milwaukee via bus could well be 3.5 to 5 hours (round trip). It might actually be faster (but not cheaper) for Milwaukee residents to travel to Madison and back!

  4. Tyrell track master says:

    Oh man, Waukesha? What a disgraceful idea. Please no no no no no no!

  5. Thomas says:

    Anecdotal evidence from listening to talk radio suggests that Waukesha houses many residents with anti-government sentiments. Why would they want a large government building there? Amen to the quintuple negative in post # 5 + raise a glass to an old Irish song with this refrain:

    “No nay never, no nay never no more/ I will play the wild rover forever no more.”

    Please fellow Badgers, let us not allow wild rovers with ill will to move our state office building to Waukesha.

  6. dragonkat says:

    The state office building on 6th and wells in Downtown MKE has been closed for many years……it’s no big deal

  7. TransitRider says:

    Dragonkat says “The state office building on 6th and wells in Downtown MKE has been closed for many years.”

    I don’t think that’s true. The state DMV web site shows it as one (of six) places non-drivers must visit to get a voter ID. It’s, by far, the easiest of Milwaukee County’s 6 DMVs to reach by bus.

    I think moving state offices out of the County (off the bus system) is just another way to make it harder for poor/handicapped people to vote, since it will become MUCH harder for non-drivers to get a voter ID.

    It’s also a way to “whiten” the state work force by making it harder for inner-city residents to take state jobs.

  8. GPS says:

    Not that I really care, but can anyone name one reason in the year 2018 they have to go to the state office building? Or any reason they have been there in the past?

  9. TransitRider says:

    GPS, you ask why people must visit the State Office Building building today (or in the past)…

    In the past…

    50 years ago (when I was under age 18), I had to visit that building to apply for a permit I needed (to deliver the Milwaukee Journal). After high school (when I was 17), I got an office job at A O Smith and had to, again, visit that building before I could begin working.


    One thing is to get the ID you need for voting. It’s really the easiest DMV office most Milwaukeeans can reach without a car (and people without cars are the main group needing these IDs).

    Today many things can be handled on the web, but not everything. Sometimes you must present documentation (or need something you can’t just print off the web). Sometimes you must meet face-to-face to get something resolved. And not everybody has access to a secure computer and printer.

  10. Gary says:

    I last used the State Office Building for driver’s license renewal, and I’m a transit rider.

    Could the building be repurposed as a parking structure? (The multifloor parking structure that was across the street became derelict (?) and was demolished when the homeless tried to move in. I saw the blankets and shopping carts.). It would be kinda appropriate to park there as a former DMV site.
    But maybe surface lots are back in vogue in MKE like they were in the 1960s-1970s.
    Please, no more apartment conversions.

    Site for a new Public Museum maybe?

  11. TransitRider says:

    Much (half?) of Milwaukee County is within 1 bus ride of downtown Milwaukee, and and virtually all of the MCTS service area is within 2 bus rides of downtown.

    Unless this office is located on or near Bluemound, this trip will require FOUR bus rides with a confusing fare structure:

    • MCTS from home to Wisconsin Avenue
    ($2.25 M-Card fare)
    • MCTS Gold Line along Wisconsin Ave. to Brookfield Square
    (free transfer with M-Card)
    • Waukesha bus route 1 from Brookfield Square to downtown Waukesha
    (free M-Card transfer, but you MUST buy a 50¢ paper transfer)
    • Another Waukesha bus to the new state office building
    (using the paper transfer bought on the prior bus)

    Returning home, it’s 4 buses again (and a higher fare):
    • Waukesha bus to downtown Waukesha
    ($2.00 fare, request free paper transfer)
    • Waukesha route 1 bus to Brookfield Square
    (use paper transfer)
    • MCTS Gold Line back to Milwaukee County
    ($2.25 M-Card fare)
    • Another MCTS bus home from Wisconsin Avenue
    (free M-Card transfer)

    Eight different buses and eight waits for buses (some potentially an hour long!) Four different fare payments totaling $7.00. Different fare rules and prices each way. This is just insane! (It’s also why we need a REGIONAL transit system!)

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