Graham Kilmer
Plats and Parcels

Mandel’s $130 Million Harbor Development

Plus: more manufacturing in West Allis.

By - Jul 22nd, 2018 09:12 pm
Rendering of Vista with Overlook in the distance.

Rendering of Vista with Overlook in the distance.

The Mandel Group purchased several acres of property on the Milwaukee River in Walker’s Point with plans for a $130 million development.

Mandel has planned since at least 2016 to redevelop the site, as Corrinne Hess of the BizTimes reported. And when the news first broke this week, it appeared the company would be moving forward with its plans for several hundred thousand square feet of office space. But then things quickly changed.

Mandel now plans to build a “mixed use neighborhood” similar to the firm’s massive The North End complex on the other side of Downtown. The plans call for housing, a hotel and office space.

Robert Monnat, chief operating officer of the Mandel Group told Sean Ryan at the Milwaukee Business Journal, “You are going to see this area convert I think pretty quickly. It’s a lot like the Historic Third Ward was back in the late 1990s.”

Manufacturing in West Allis

West Allis, or ‘stallis as it is sometimes lovingly referred to, is named for Edward P. Allis, who in the late nineteenth century was the president of the Allis Company, later called Allis-Chalmers. In its heyday, it was the largest manufacturing firm in the fledgling village west of Milwaukee.

In the century that sits between then and now, the manufacturing might of West Allis grew, much like in Milwaukee and the rest of the Midwest, rising to reach a high water mark, carrying itself out to sea and into the ports of new nations.

Recent news points to an interesting trend for the city. Manufacturing is coming back. And it’s coming back both big and small.

This week, Hess reported that a 61,153-square-foot building, which she described as “run down” was purchased by the owners of three firms intent on fixing it up and resuming manufacturing there.

Craig Podlesnik’s MagraHearth and Stonecraft Studios, and David Kovacic’s Northern Tool and Fastener will each occupy a portion of the building.

The building at 6525 W. Burnham St. will soon have 10 or more employees working there. And it’s only the latest in a recent spate of announcements about manufacturing firms coming to the city.

In late June, Tom Daykin wrote a story about the new Glenn Rieder headquarters in West Allis. He described the firm’s new building as a “sleek $15 million development.”

Glenn Rieder makes architectural millwork and intends to employ than 80 employees in their new building, Daykin reported.

And last, but not least, a firm from New Berlin is moving to the former Allis-Chalmers complex. The company, Blast Cleaning Technologies, makes shot blast equipment designed to clean metal.

The company hopes to bring 95 employees to the city and invest about $2.5 million in the building, Hess reported.

The first two developments I mentioned came to West Allis, in part, through deals that have become commonplace in the market for manufacturing jobs, or those of any kind for that matter. They got incentives from the city.

Podlesnik and Kovacic will receive a $150,000 community development block grant from the City of West Allis for job creation. And Glenn Rieder bought 11.6 acres from the city for $1 after West Allis led an environmental cleanup effort on the site.

These incentives pale in comparison to the leviathan public handout Foxconn received for their manufacturing plant in Racine County. But just like that, they are an attempt by local leaders to grasp something only their oldest constituents really remember. These are manufacturing jobs for their city in an age when labor can’t really move and capital has long since flown the coop.

Neighborhood Power

Jeramey Jannene wrote a story this week that showed how a few determined residents can derail some pretty straight forward proceedings.

The tale concerns Tim Gokhman, Ann Shuk, Ald. Nik Kovac, the North Point Historic District and three single-family homes.

The events unfold before the City Planning Commission where Gokhman and Shuk attempt a simple rezoning for a property that is rather small by their development standards.

What ensues is a battle of wits and procedural rules. Read that tale here.

In Other News:

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One thought on “Plats and Parcels: Mandel’s $130 Million Harbor Development”

  1. michael says:

    B+. The riverfront buildings are par for the course. The glass curtainwalls will be a new spin on the same building envelop seen up & down the river.

    A missed opportunity here is that Florida/Davidson is destined to become one of the real triumphant roads of Milwaukee, but the eastward view will terminate unceremoniously into the corner of one of these buildings. Looking the other way, the view ends squarely on the spectacular Iron Horse Hotel. With this also being waterfront, it is a superb location for major monument. Anyway, this city is pretty clueless when it comes to making inspiring views & places. For example, whoever even suggested this skyway blocking the view of one of the finest rose windows in the western hemisphere should have been run out of town. How it was allowed to be built is baffling.,-87.9271277,3a,16.7y,177.22h,87.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJ_G1flFeriWkfEuv4KLZOg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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