Safe & Sound Moving To New Home
Plus: A new owner for historic building, MSOE's new stem center and the weekly recap.
It purchased a former church at 4422 W. Leon Tr. for $535,000. Originally built in 1932, the building has spent most of its life as a home for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is located just north of the intersection of N. Sherman Blvd. and W. Fond du Lac Ave. and on the edge of the Sherman Park neighborhood.
“This new space will house our current staff, while also giving us room for future growth as we look to serve even more residents in Milwaukee. This new building also gives us space to now host community meetings and programming while creating space that can be used by our partners and the residents we serve,” said executive director Joe’Mar Hooper in a statement.
Community development financial institution Forward Community Investments supported the purchase.
Safe & Sound hired JCP Construction to lead the buildout and DreamBuilders to perform design services. Both firms are minority-owned, a fact highlighted by Safe & Sound. It hopes to fully occupy the facility, which city records refer to as 3755 N. 44th St., in early 2022.
The nonprofit currently leases space in a Westown office building owned by Marquette University at 801 W. Michigan St. It is colocated with the North Central High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a federally-backed partnership of law enforcement agencies.
That office building is part of a larger collection of property assembled for a now-canceled athletic and human performance center. Marquette, according to multiple partners, is now pursuing redevelopment of the site. Bear Development secured low-income housing tax credits to develop an apartment building on a portion of the site.
Johnson Financial Building Sold
As previously reported in our piece on Johnson Financial Group opening a new office in the Cathedral Place office building, the company was going to sell its former office building at 329-331 E. Wisconsin Ave. to the Levine family.
That transaction has now closed, with an investment group led by Michael Levine buying the property for $1.3 million.
Up until this month, Johnson had owned and occupied the 17,000-square-foot, Italianate-style building since 2000. Built in 1867 as part of the larger Follansbee Block building, Johnson’s Cream City brick-clad portion was eventually separated. The portion to the west was redeveloped into the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown a decade ago.
“It’s a cool old building, but it’s not a terribly functional building for an office building,” said Johnson CEO Jim Popp of the ability to subdivide the property for multiple tenants. He said an open-air, central staircase prevents leasing individual floors to different tenants.
The Levines will now attempt to find that ideal tenant.
MSOE Celebrates STEM Center Opening
The final piece of Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Viets Field, a parking garage and athletic field complex, is now complete.
MSOE reports more than 15,000 students from 150 schools have gone through its programs since 2017.
The new facility, formally known as the We Energies Stem Center, opened in late September. It includes a flexible technology studio, design lab, machine tooling area and a FIRST Robotics playing field.
The facility is also supported by Rockwell Automation, Northwestern Mutual and American Family Insurance. Milwaukee Tool provided tools to support programming. Scott and Linda Haag made a donation in support of the program.
Milwaukee Tool Readying Downtown Office
An image released earlier this year, as the Common Council debated an up to $20 million subsidy agreement to bring up to 2,000 employees from the Brookfield-based company to Westown, depicted a large Milwaukee Tool logo added to a windowless portion of the otherwise drab office building. Red paint, matching the company’s color scheme, was to be added to the covered entryway.
But what’s happening to the five-story, 370,000-square-foot building is far beyond just a new logo and coat of paint.
New High School Marks Growth of Hmong Community
She’s actually been thinking about education for much longer. “HAPA began as the dream of a 10-year-old girl fleeing Laos,” she told the audience in attendance for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Her family had fought alongside the United States in an anti-communist effort, leading to them and many others fleeing in 1975.
The school became a reality in 2004, and ultimately grew to include kindergarten through 12th grade at three separate campuses. Now, the nonprofit charter school is working to build new facilities to consolidate at one site.
Podcast Production Company Opens Downtown Studio, Office
Podcamp Media, a fast-growing podcast production firm, announced Thursday it has opened an office and studio in a historic downtown building.
Launched in summer 2019 by communications professional Dustin Weis, the company offers branded podcast production for a variety of clients.
Weis, 36, originally hoped to open a studio in spring 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold.
“Two years was a long time to be doing professional podcast production out of my home studio, especially with a couple of toddlers stomping around upstairs,” said Weis. “Our team members, our clients and I have found creative ways to ‘make it work’ up to this point, and we will continue to offer hybrid virtual work arrangements. But it is a relief to finally have a studio where we can record, collaborate, and show off all that Milwaukee has to offer when our out-of-town clients come to visit.”
Raynetta Hill Will Lead King Drive BID
Hill, in an interview, praised the work of her predecessor Deshea Agee and said she is “taking the torch and running with it.”
Like Agee and area Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, she has a simple goal: “For King Drive to continue to be the best King Drive in the nation.”
Redevelopment Plans Dropped For Downtown Post Office
The property, 341 W. St. Paul Ave., was sold Tuesday to an affiliate of Postal Realty Trust. The New York-based company owns more than 880 properties leased to USPS.
The trust acquired the Milwaukee property, with 941,109 square feet of space, for $15 million from Chicago-based R2 Companies, ending the company’s plans to redevelop the property.
New Cafe Planned For First Floor of 88Nine Building
A new cafe and eatery is slated to open in the space, 220 E. Pittsburgh Ave., in February.
The nonprofit radio station announced a $770,000 renovation plan for its two-story headquarters Tuesday that includes expanding the space, adding a kitchen and reconfiguring the outdoor seating area. The cafe space connects with the adjacent 100-seat performance space used for concerts and community meetings.
Dairy-Centric Apartment Building Wins Plan Commission Approval
A proposal to redevelop a two-story industrial building into apartments on Milwaukee’s East Side secured its first approval Monday afternoon.
The building includes a bar, though not for the type of drinking done in most Milwaukee bars.
Triciclo Peru Owners Could Buy Vliet Street Building
Milwaukee might need to rename Vliet Street to Empanada Drive.
Co-owner Amy Narr presented plans to the City Plan Commission Monday afternoon to purchase the city-owned properties at 3610 W. Vliet St. and 3616 W. Vliet St. for use as a production space. The property needs to be rezoned to accommodate Triciclo’s plans.
“This is an opportunity for us to continue to grow from food truck to restaurant to production space,” said Narr.
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