Building Info

The Couture as seen from the north. Rendering by Rinka Chung Architecture.
  • Architect:
    Rinka Chung Architecture
  • Status:

Proposed 44-story apartment tower for the site currently occupied by the Downtown Transit Center. The tower would be built by Barrett Visionary Development.

The site was originally expected to include a 180-room hotel, but that was announced to be eliminated on June 18th, 2014. Instead, the proposed 179 apartments will be expanded to 294 apartments.

The building has been designed by Rinka Chung Architecture.

The building will also retail space. Barrett was at one point pursuing the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for the building, and has been rumored to also be pursuing a grocery store.

On Sept 3rd, 2014 the project design was updated to include a streetcar stop in the base of the building.

On June 26th, 2015 Circuit Court Judge Christopher Foley ruled in favor of the county, over Preserve our Parks, in the lawsuit over the county’s ability to sell the Downtown Transit Center site.

On August 18th, 2015 John Lunz told BizTimes that Preserve Our Parks would not appeal the decision by Christopher Foley, clearing the way for the project to move forward.

Project Documents

Photos

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Content referencing The Couture

Plats and Parcels: An East Side High Rise in 2019?
Plats and Parcels

An East Side High Rise in 2019?

Mandel announces plans to break ground on Prospect Ave. tower

Plats and Parcels: County Officials Suggest Taking Back Couture Site
Plats and Parcels

County Officials Suggest Taking Back Couture Site

Supervisors cite lack of progress on county-owned lakefront land.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Multiple Tower Groundbreakings in 2018
Eyes on Milwaukee

Multiple Tower Groundbreakings in 2018

Couture, 1550 are in the works, but what about another lakefront tower?

Plats and Parcels: The Expanding Empire of Josh Jeffers
Plats and Parcels

The Expanding Empire of Josh Jeffers

And why the curious contractor switcheroo for The Couture?

Eyes on Milwaukee: Couture Could Break Ground This Summer
Eyes on Milwaukee

Couture Could Break Ground This Summer

Barrett Lo company reaffirms Findorff as general contractor.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Couture Seeks Commercial Tenants
Eyes on Milwaukee

Couture Seeks Commercial Tenants

44-story apartment tower will have 40,000 square left for a grocer, restaurants, medical office.

More Parking for Bikes

More Parking for Bikes

City ordinance would set new standards for bike parking in new and redeveloped buildings.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Couture’s Surprise Sewer Being Moved
Eyes on Milwaukee

Couture’s Surprise Sewer Being Moved

Previously unknown sewer will cost city $2 million to move

Eyes on Milwaukee: City Approves The Couture
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Approves The Couture

December groundbreaking likely; Barrett says second tower could be built.

Changes Made to Couture’s Design

Changes Made to Couture’s Design

Design tweaks address concerns of neighboring 833 East developer.

Eyes on Milwaukee: City Plan Members Love Couture
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Plan Members Love Couture

Commissioners laud the project, but possible second tower raises concerns.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Second Lakefront Tower Coming?
Eyes on Milwaukee

Second Lakefront Tower Coming?

Barrett-Lo has made plans for second tower next to The Couture.

Streetsblog: 80 Transit Projects in 2017
Streetsblog

80 Transit Projects in 2017

Projects in U.S., Canada and Mexico include streetcar in Milwaukee.

Photo Gallery: Transit Center Tower Demolition
Photo Gallery

Transit Center Tower Demolition

Five-story clock tower knocked down to make way for 44-floor apartment tower.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Milwaukee’s Most Schizophrenic Developer?
Eyes on Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Most Schizophrenic Developer?

Joshua Jeffers is spending millions to redevelop the Mackie Building and famed Grain Exchange.

Friday Photos: Goodbye Downtown Transit Center
Friday Photos

Goodbye Downtown Transit Center

Bus barn is coming down for 44-floor, lakefront high rise, The Couture.

Plenty of Horne: New Stage for Summerfest Coming
Plenty of Horne

New Stage for Summerfest Coming

U.S. Cellular inks 10-year deal; will spend millions to replace its music facility by 2018.

City Residents Hiring Program Falls Short

City Residents Hiring Program Falls Short

Promising effort employs minorities in construction, needs more monitoring and funding.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Streetcar Project Receives Federal Grant
Eyes on Milwaukee

Streetcar Project Receives Federal Grant

City will use funding to study extension of streetcar to Bronzeville and Walker's Point.

Statement of IBEW Local 494 on Milwaukee County’s Sale of the Downtown Transit Center
Press Release

Statement of IBEW Local 494 on Milwaukee County’s Sale of the Downtown Transit Center

"The Couture is the next big step forward in Milwaukee's ongoing renaissance."

Couture Economic Development Project to Move Forward
Press Release

Couture Economic Development Project to Move Forward

County Executive Chris Abele Announces Closing on Sale of Downtown Transit Center.

Last Buses Pull Out of Downtown Transit Center This Weekend
Press Release

Last Buses Pull Out of Downtown Transit Center This Weekend

The Transit Center property was sold by Milwaukee County to developer Rick Barrett who is redeveloping the land into The Couture project.

Friday Photos: Westin Hotel Rising
Friday Photos

Westin Hotel Rising

It will add 220 high-end hotel rooms to complex anchored by state's tallest building.

Eyes on Milwaukee: The Couture is Finally Happening
Eyes on Milwaukee

The Couture is Finally Happening

County to move bus routes off site at end of month, demolition of building imminent.

Eyes on Milwaukee: City Panel Approves Bus Rapid Transit
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Panel Approves Bus Rapid Transit

BRT line linking Downtown and Tosa moves forward, though some decry "the rush."

Eyes on Milwaukee: Council Okays Streetcar to Bucks Arena
Eyes on Milwaukee

Council Okays Streetcar to Bucks Arena

$40 million extension would add .75 miles to route, also connect convention center.

Eyes on Milwaukee: 10 Images of a Changing City
Eyes on Milwaukee

10 Images of a Changing City

Think Milwaukee moves slowly? These dramatic interactive images will change your mind.

County Executive Chris Abele Announces Major Milestone in Couture Project
Press Release

County Executive Chris Abele Announces Major Milestone in Couture Project

Federal Transit Authority Concurs on Plan That Will Create Thousands of Jobs, Millions in Economic Development

Eyes on Milwaukee: MAM Offers To Buy O’Donnell Park, War Memorial
Eyes on Milwaukee

MAM Offers To Buy O’Donnell Park, War Memorial

County taxpayers will save at least $9 million in non-cash transaction.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Construction Starts on Westin Hotel
Eyes on Milwaukee

Construction Starts on Westin Hotel

220-room hotel will be the closest hotel in the city to the lakefront.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Inside 833 East
Eyes on Milwaukee

Inside 833 East

Step inside the new 18-story office tower that will help transform the lakefront.

Plats And Parcels: 5 Wangard Projects to Watch For in 2016
Plats And Parcels

5 Wangard Projects to Watch For in 2016

A big year for the developer and proof the city's development momentum hasn't slowed.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Ten Predictions for 2016
Eyes on Milwaukee

Ten Predictions for 2016

A new downtown strip club, less crime, more Sheriff Clarke. It's all coming… we think.

Abele buys second Moderne condo for $700,000
Citation

Abele buys second Moderne condo for $700,000

In Public: The Design Competition That Wasn’t
In Public

The Design Competition That Wasn’t

Lakefront Gateway competition picked a team, not a design. So what will that mean for the lakefront?

Black Leaders Say Joblessness Among Black Men is Rooted in Racism

Black Leaders Say Joblessness Among Black Men is Rooted in Racism

Summit explores the causes of high black male unemployment in Milwaukee.

Plenty of Horne: Lakefront Gateway Design Winner Named
Plenty of Horne

Lakefront Gateway Design Winner Named

Local firm Graef Selected for $23 million project to create a "beautiful" and "active" plaza.

Overshadowed a bit by neighbors, 833 East expects tenants by March
Citation

Overshadowed a bit by neighbors, 833 East expects tenants by March

Supervisor Patricia Jursik Congratulates Rick Barrett on Couture Project
Press Release

Supervisor Patricia Jursik Congratulates Rick Barrett on Couture Project

But Chairwoman of Economic and Community Development Committee Asks for Assurances on Public Access

Construction work for The Couture could begin in 2016
Preserve Our Parks will not appeal lawsuit, clearing way for Couture on Milwaukee’s lakefront
Couture legal challenge ends, clearing way for lakefront high-rise
Citation

Couture legal challenge ends, clearing way for lakefront high-rise

Preserve Our Parks gives up its fight against The Couture
In Public: Will Milwaukee Choose High Line’s Designer?
In Public

Will Milwaukee Choose High Line’s Designer?

James Corner is one of four finalists to create $30 million lakefront bridge. It’s a great design.

In Public: The City’s $30 Million Design Project
In Public

The City’s $30 Million Design Project

National competition for lakefront bridge could have huge impact, but city’s process raises questions.

Battle to build The Couture could be nearing end
Eyes on Milwaukee: Streetcar Construction Starts in October
Eyes on Milwaukee

Streetcar Construction Starts in October

On-going engineering work continues to save millions of dollars. And anti-streetcar group has given up trying to stop the starter line.

Court’s decision allows transit center sale for Couture development
Citation

Court’s decision allows transit center sale for Couture development

Judge clears way for county land sale for Couture high-rise
Citation

Judge clears way for county land sale for Couture high-rise

Plats and Parcels: 1,449 New Apartments Coming
Plats and Parcels

1,449 New Apartments Coming

And more are on the way, all within a two-mile radius of City Hall.

Plats and Parcels: Yes, Johnson Controls Wants to Build Downtown
Plats and Parcels

Yes, Johnson Controls Wants to Build Downtown

The city will help pay for feasibility study of company building a high-rise near the lake and just west of Discovery World.

Plats and Parcels: Bay View’s Golden Age?
Plats and Parcels

Bay View’s Golden Age?

A proposal for five new apartment buildings in Bay View. And will At Random be razed?

Plats and Parcels: Plans Proceed to Enhance Lakefront
Plats and Parcels

Plans Proceed to Enhance Lakefront

An internationally unique visitors center announced for Lakeshore State Park. And the Lakefront Gateway Project proceeds.

Plats and Parcels: More Delays in Lakefront Development
Plats and Parcels

More Delays in Lakefront Development

County board's contradictory proposals on O'Donnell Park and court case affecting The Couture continue to stall potential development.

Plats and Parcels: Northwestern Mutual Could Demolish a City Block
Plats and Parcels

Northwestern Mutual Could Demolish a City Block

Will entire city block be used to build 1,000 car parking garage? And will The Couture dispute ever get settled?

Plats and Parcels: Bay View Boos Building
Plats and Parcels

Bay View Boos Building

Some pan the design of proposed Bay View "gateway" project. Meanwhile, the Dover Street School project hits a snag.

Plats and Parcels: Huge Growth for Brady and Water
Plats and Parcels

Huge Growth for Brady and Water

Three different developments will add 740 apartments and tremendous urban density to the area.

Friday Photos: Streetcar Signing Is Quite a Celebration
Friday Photos

Streetcar Signing Is Quite a Celebration

The mayor, business leaders and pols toasted the streetcar in Cudahy's Irish Pub, with Michael Cudahy on hand.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Milwaukee Streetcar Approved
Eyes on Milwaukee

Milwaukee Streetcar Approved

After years of debate, streetcar will finally move forward. Final engineering will begin immediately, and construction by the end of the year.

Plats and Parcels: A Week of Ground-Breaking News
Plats and Parcels

A Week of Ground-Breaking News

Announcement of Johnson Controls' 50-story lakefront tower is week's biggest development.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Four New Bus Routes Start Sunday
Eyes on Milwaukee

Four New Bus Routes Start Sunday

MCTS will include three more express lines, offering better service for high-demand routes.

Op Ed: Why the Streetcar Won’t Work
Op Ed

Why the Streetcar Won’t Work

The planned route will duplicate bus routes and won’t solve any of the city’s needs.

Defining Lakefront Vision Moves Forward
Press Release

Defining Lakefront Vision Moves Forward

Sale of Couture Development Approved

Eyes on Milwaukee: Council Delays Streetcar Until January
Eyes on Milwaukee

Council Delays Streetcar Until January

Minority of aldermen were able to use city charter provision to delay project for one month, but a majority seems poised to approve it.

Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic Announces New Commitment of $200,000 in Workforce Development Funding on Couture and Streetcar Projects
Eyes on Milwaukee: Committee Approves Milwaukee Streetcar
Eyes on Milwaukee

Committee Approves Milwaukee Streetcar

Mayor offers historic address to council committee on streetcar and it gains their approval. Only one person speaks in opposition.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. Announces Opposition to Downtown Transit Center and O’Donnell Park Sales
Supervisors Announce Support for Couture Project
Press Release

Supervisors Announce Support for Couture Project

They Applaud Economic and Community Development Committee for Approval of Project

Eyes on Milwaukee: New Express Bus Routes Start in January
Eyes on Milwaukee

New Express Bus Routes Start in January

The good news: Three new express routes will move riders more quickly across the county. The bad: transit system running out of money.

Plenty of Horne: RACM Approves Tax Funding for Streetcar
Plenty of Horne

RACM Approves Tax Funding for Streetcar

The TIF funding approved will also pay for infrastructure for The Couture high-rise, whose architect promised it will "push the boundaries of urban design."

Murphy’s Law: Is O’Donnell Purchase a Sweetheart Deal?
Murphy’s Law

Is O’Donnell Purchase a Sweetheart Deal?

Northwestern Mutual won’t sign full deed restriction for county deal, leaving it free to develop a high-rise development on lakefront land.

Plenty of Horne: Next Stops For The Streetcar
Plenty of Horne

Next Stops For The Streetcar

The devil is in the details of tax incremental financing and various meetings and approvals needed before construction begins.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Barrett Moving Forward With Streetcar
Eyes on Milwaukee

Barrett Moving Forward With Streetcar

If Common Council approves at December 16 meeting, construction would start in late 2015, and Milwaukee would follow in footsteps of many other cities.

City Unveils New Plan to Build on $2.6 Billion in Downtown Investment by Moving the Streetcar Project Forward, Adding Lakefront Line
Press Release

City Unveils New Plan to Build on $2.6 Billion in Downtown Investment by Moving the Streetcar Project Forward, Adding Lakefront Line

Plan Covers Lakefront Line, Utility Costs Without Property Tax Dollars; Operations Slated to Begin by 2018

WRTP/BIG STEP Board of Directors taps Mark Kessenich as New President and Chief Executive Officer
Press Release

WRTP/BIG STEP Board of Directors taps Mark Kessenich as New President and Chief Executive Officer

After an extensive nationwide search, WRTP/BIG STEP, a nationally recognized, workforce development intermediary is excited to announce that Mark Kessenich has been named President and CEO.

NEWaukeean of the Week: Jonathan Brostoff
NEWaukeean of the Week

Jonathan Brostoff

"Without a doubt, some big investors are betting on Milwaukee’s future..."

Murphy’s Law: The Tragedy of O’Donnell Park
Murphy’s Law

The Tragedy of O’Donnell Park

The proposed sale to NML suggests the city has yet to learn from its folly in building this eyesore.

Eyes on Milwaukee: 700 E. Kilbourn High-Rise Wins Key Approval
Eyes on Milwaukee

700 E. Kilbourn High-Rise Wins Key Approval

Proposed high-rise would add up to 275 "ultra luxury" apartments to downtown Milwaukee -- with no public financing.

Charlie Fox Comments on County Executive’s Budget in Absence of District Supervisor
Press Release

Charlie Fox Comments on County Executive’s Budget in Absence of District Supervisor

Charlie Fox, candidate in the November 4 Special Election for the open 5th District Milwaukee County Board seat, attended County Executive Abele’s 2015 budget presentation.

Eyes on Milwaukee: New Apartment Building Coming to the Third Ward
Eyes on Milwaukee

New Apartment Building Coming to the Third Ward

Two developers partner up for a new building that is going to have a very odd shape.

Eyes on Milwaukee: Chicago Firm Unveils Designs for 35-Story Tower
Eyes on Milwaukee

Chicago Firm Unveils Designs for 35-Story Tower

New skyscraper would contain up to 275 apartments in downtown Milwaukee.

Friday Photos: 833 East, the Unsung Hero of Office Towers
Friday Photos

833 East, the Unsung Hero of Office Towers

New high rise office building has no city subsidy and will add to the property tax base immediately.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin Issues Statement in Support of the Couture Development
Press Release

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin Issues Statement in Support of the Couture Development

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW) announced its support of Barrett Visionary Development’s Couture project

Great Plan Gets Even Better!
Press Release

Great Plan Gets Even Better!

1.9 Acres of Public Space and Direct Access to Lakefront Highlights Updated Couture Plan

Eyes on Milwaukee: Milwaukee’s Biggest Building Breaks Ground
Eyes on Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Biggest Building Breaks Ground

"A beautiful day in Milwaukee" and for assembled power brokers as Northwestern Mutual's new skyscraper gets underway.

Eyes on Milwaukee: New 18-Story Downtown Building Breaks Ground
Eyes on Milwaukee

New 18-Story Downtown Building Breaks Ground

The $102 million, 18-story tower at 833 E. Michigan is huge development, with no city financing. The full story, with photos and building renderings.

Barrett Drops Hotel From The Couture Plans
In Public: Why the Art Museum Addition Must Not Be Built
In Public

Why the Art Museum Addition Must Not Be Built

This could be the biggest architectural mistake Milwaukee has ever made.

Supervisor Jursik Criticizes Shoreline Bill
Press Release

Supervisor Jursik Criticizes Shoreline Bill

Jursik Says Shoreline Bill Washes Out Trustee Duty to Protect Public Access

County Executive Abele Statement on Shoreline Bill
Press Release

County Executive Abele Statement on Shoreline Bill

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele supports a bipartisan state bill that will be considered this week by the state Assembly to formally recognize the Milwaukee shoreline boundary that was established in 1913.

Plenty of Horne: Millennials Drive Downtown Growth, GMC Told
Plenty of Horne

Millennials Drive Downtown Growth, GMC Told

Younger residents far more important than empty nesters in driving city growth, and urban areas are surpassing suburbs, speakers at conference note.

Does Lakefront Still Lack a Vision?

Does Lakefront Still Lack a Vision?

Panelists at Discovery World conference debate plans and opportunities for Milwaukee's lakefront. A report with photos.

Couture to bring grocer to Milwaukee lakefront
Citation

Couture to bring grocer to Milwaukee lakefront

Why The Couture Could Wow the Nation

Why The Couture Could Wow the Nation

Few cities have built towers this tall (44 stories) since 2000. This could be a coup for Milwaukee. (Second of two-part series)

City a National Leader in Skyscrapers

City a National Leader in Skyscrapers

Since 2000, Milwaukee ranks 10th among 67 big cities in high-rises built per capita. Part I of a two-part series.

Murphy’s Law: The Curious Case of Kimberly Walker
Murphy’s Law

The Curious Case of Kimberly Walker

The board is angry at Abele so they fired Walker. Go figure.

In Public: How the Moderne Lost Some of its Swagger
In Public

How the Moderne Lost Some of its Swagger

Value engineering made it stouter, but it’s still minor miracle a building this good was created.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra considers move to Couture
Citation

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra considers move to Couture

House Confidential: Rocky’s Throne of Stone
House Confidential

Rocky’s Throne of Stone

Neighbor and boss Tom Barrett says DCD head Rocky Marcoux worthy of Nobel Prize, but is his house?

Eyes on Milwaukee: Pizza and the Park East
Eyes on Milwaukee

Pizza and the Park East

Pizza Man and The Couture win approvals and a Park East hotel is also likely to be okayed.

Murphy’s Law: The High Cost of the County Board
Murphy’s Law

The High Cost of the County Board

We could save millions and improve efficiency by cutting the county board and its huge staff.

County Board Approves Negotiations for The Couture

County Board Approves Negotiations for The Couture

Proposed 44-floor building for lakefront stays on track

County Threatened With Lakefront Lawsuit

County Threatened With Lakefront Lawsuit

County committee okays negotiations with The Couture developer, despite a casual threat of lawsuit.

The Chatter: The Chicago Challenge
The Chatter

The Chicago Challenge

Economic cooperation with our massive neighbor could help Milwaukee. But Gov.Scott Walker stands in the way.

Photo Gallery: The Couture Press Conference
Photo Gallery

The Couture Press Conference

Developers and politicians unite behind the podium to unveil 44-story project.

The Chatter: Abele vs County Board — Again
The Chatter

Abele vs County Board — Again

Someone leaked the info on Abele's plan for a 44 story lakefront tower, leaving him apologizing to the board.

44-Floor Tower Proposed for Lakefront

44-Floor Tower Proposed for Lakefront

A new 44-story tower proposed for Milwaukee.