Patricia Jursik
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

By - Aug 19th, 2015 12:10 pm
The Couture

The Couture

Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik, Chairwoman of the Economic and Community Development Committee, today congratulated developer Rick Barrett after the group Preserve Our Parks decided not to appeal a court decision that allows the Couture to be built on the site of the Downtown Transit Center.

But she added that Barrett should assure public access to the 2.2-acre parcel, which she called a “gateway to downtown’s lakefront.”

“Rick Barrett has been a creative and talented developer in Milwaukee, but he has been given an unprecedented chance to build on some of the most prestigious acreage in the state’” Jursik said. “Barrett got this right without having to compete through a Request for Proposal process and is receiving the land without paying a premium price.”

Barrett, of Barret Visionary Development, has an option to pay $500,000 for the county-owned property. The $122 million Couture project will feature apartments, restaurants, retail stores and a stop for the Milwaukee streetcar.

“As Chairwoman of the Economic and Community Development committee, I am always interested in acting in the best interests of economic development in Milwaukee County,” Jursik said. “But Preserve Our Parks had legitimate concerns over public access and I share those concerns. It is my hope that this developer is mindful of the public’s access and use of this site. Clearly, many of my constituents will be unable to afford apartments or perhaps even the restaurants and retail stores, but the public transit access and public plaza will be important to them.  This developer must respect those public aspects of the project and even strengthen them going forward.

“I call upon Barrett to publicly state his commitment to public access, and I hope he will work to ensure that this project includes access for all Milwaukee County residents, not just the select few who can afford to live and shop there.”


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9 thoughts on “Supervisor Patricia Jursik Congratulates Rick Barrett on Couture Project”

  1. Ryan says:

    I think connecting a public bridge and having the streetcar go through that space is enough of a public statement. Guess she forgot all about that but it’s not hard, she’s one of the county board clowns.

  2. Jerad says:

    Thinking is hard. *derp*

  3. AG says:

    Really, they didn’t have to compete through an RFP? Because the story I just read in the Bizjournal said the complete opposite. That they did compete and they won.

    Besides, has she even looked at the latest proposal and seen how much public there is? I don’t know I’ve ever seen a high rise proposal in Milwaukee that even pretends to compare to the amount of public space as this one.

    Just once I’d like to read a press release or new story about the county board that didn’t make me want to pull my hair out.

  4. Dave Reid says:

    @AG She is correct. There was no RFP, but there were multiple proposal (just not a formal RFP)

  5. AG says:

    Just to clarify, when the bizjournal said, “Milwaukee County officials want to put the property to a higher and better use. They issued an RFP and selected Barrett Lo Visionary Development’s proposal…” they were in error?

  6. Dave Reid says:

    @AG Yes. Andrew has that wrong. It was actually a bit controversial at the time.

  7. AG says:

    Thanks for the info Dave. So the way I read it, there was an RFI. Barrett’s proposal was chosen the best and then the economic development committee had to affirm the deal.

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