Milwaukee Public Library
Press Release

Milwaukee Public Library Seeks Development Partners

Issues Request for Proposal for Milwaukee Public Library’s Capitol Branch

By - Dec 28th, 2018 09:42 am
Milwaukee Public Library’s Capitol branch. Photo from the Milwaukee Public Library.

Milwaukee Public Library’s Capitol branch. Photo from the Milwaukee Public Library.

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) has issued a Request for Proposal from qualified firms who want to partner on a mixed-use development of a replacement of Milwaukee Public Library’s Capitol branch at 3969 N 74th Street.

“MPL is changing the way people think about libraries while we continue to help patrons read, learn and connect.” said Library Director Paula Kiely. “We are improving the library experience with more flexible and open floor plans, better technology, and exciting new features such as our makerspaces at Mitchell Street and at the new Good Hope branch when it opens in 2019.”

The library is seeking a catalytic development that not only provides a 21st century, technology-rich building for residents, but improves the economic vitality of the neighborhood. The proposal should feature the new library as the most visible component of a mixed-use project. The non-library component(s) must be housing, retail, office or another commercial use as long as the use is appropriate for co-location with a public library, and should strive to add to the tax base for the City of Milwaukee.

“Our plan for a mixed-used development for the Capitol branch is the next step in our comprehensive library replacement strategy,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “Our public/private partnerships on these mixed-use library projects have added millions of dollars in tax base to the City of Milwaukee and hundreds of new apartment homes. With this new project, City government, Milwaukee Public Library staff, and private developers will add educational resources, new job opportunities and advanced technology for children and families in the area near the Capitol branch.”

This plan follows the successful replacement of the Villard Avenue, East, and Forest Home libraries with new, mixed-use buildings. Mayor Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee Common Council, and the Library Board of Trustees have identified $18 million for library redevelopment which has been allocated to the Forest Home, Mill Road, Capitol and Martin Luther King branches.

By 2021, it is expected that MPL will have replaced or updated the entire system with 21st century, technology-rich facilities.

Proposals are due Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. to MPL Library Construction Project Manager Sam McGovern-Rowen. Visit for more information.

About Milwaukee Public Library
Milwaukee Public Library is an anchor institution that helps build healthy families and vibrant neighborhoods – the foundation of a strong Milwaukee. Since 1878, Milwaukee Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for residents of Milwaukee and beyond. With 14 locations and more than three million items in circulation, MPL offers free access to a rich collection of materials both physical and digital, access to technology, classes, exhibitions, programming and more. From toddlers to scholars, MPL serves more than two million patrons who come through its doors annually and many more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, MPL relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support Milwaukee Public Library at


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