Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Journal Square Redevelopment Nears Completion

Apartments, student housing, a high school and, maybe, a hotel.

By - Jun 24th, 2022 04:15 pm
Journal Communications Building Becoming Verdigris. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Journal Communications Building Becoming Verdigris. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The redevelopment of the former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel complex is moving toward completion. Each of the building’s that comprised the newspaper’s former location has either reopened with a new use or is actively being worked on.

Developer Joshua Jeffers is leading the project, which covers a full block bounded by W. State St., W. Kilbourn Ave., N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. It is known as Journal Square.

The first phase, a redevelopment of the complex’s 1962 addition, opened in August 2021. Known as Westown Green, the $29.1 million project provides housing for 195 Milwaukee Area Technical College students.

The multi-level, underground base of the structure now houses a parking structure.

The long-vacant former Sentinel Building, 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., was redeveloped into a home for Seeds of Health‘s Tenor High School. It opened to the students in November, but a ribbon cutting was held in April. Eppstein Uhen Architects and Berghammer Construction led the project’s design and construction. The building dates back to 1918, but was substantially remodeled at various points.

At Tenor, students complete high school in three years and spend the fourth year at MATC. The new location better facilitates that connection. The charter school also renovated its N. Jackson St. building and closed its Walker’s Point campus.

The leading component of the project, dubbed Verdigris, will fill the signature Journal Communications building with 141 market-rate apartments. The six-story building, 333 W. State St., was originally built in 1924. Eppstein Uhen Architects is leading design work on the two apartment projects. Quorum Architects is supporting the design and historic preservation effort.

Construction work, led by CG Schmidt, is progressing. Recent work included removing metal paneling that covered multiple floors of the rear of the Sentinel and Journal Communications buildings.

A surface parking lot on the southeast corner is slated to become a Tempo by Hilton Milwaukee hotel. It would be built on the former site of the Republican Hotel. The former hotel served as the birthplace of Major League Baseball’s American League. The project has not publicly moved forward yet.

Major Goolsby’s restaurant and bar remains at the southwest corner of the property in a one-story building.

J. Jeffers & Co. acquired the entire complex in 2019 for $8 million from an affiliate of newspaper owner Gannett. The remaining newspaper employees relocated to the 330 Kilbourn office complex in late 2020.

Via a tax incremental financing district, the City of Milwaukee is providing $1 million to support restoring the facade of the Journal building and the development of 27 units of affordable housing in the Westown Green building. The project also relies on historic preservation tax credits.

Kitty-corner from the Journal Sentinel complex, the Wisconsin Center District is executing a $420 million convention center expansion.



UPDATE: An earlier version of this article called the prior hotel the Randolph Hotel, it was the Republican.

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3 thoughts on “Friday Photos: Journal Square Redevelopment Nears Completion”

  1. Polaris says:

    I love these projects. Jeffers has been amazingly thoughtful in determining what to do with this historic property. And, thank god the metal siding is coming down! And, Goolsby’s stays!

    The old Randolph Hotel was at 4th and Wisconsin on the lot that’s been parking since 1985. Was there another Randolph Hotel at what is now MLK and Kilbourn or did it go by a different name?

  2. Jeramey Jannene says:

    @Polaris – My mistake. It was the Republican Hotel.

  3. Polaris says:

    Ack…what a name for a hotel on of all days,..

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