Barrett Lo Visionary Development
Press Release

The Couture Secures Financing For $188 million Project Construction to Begin January 2021

44-story mixed-use skyscraper will create new public amenities and thousands of new jobs

By - Nov 23rd, 2020 11:22 am
The Couture. Rendering by RINKA.

The Couture. Rendering by RINKA.

MILWAUKEE – Barrett | Lo Visionary Development announced today that it has received a firm commitment from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan guaranty program, securing the final financing requirement for the project to proceed to construction. The loan guaranty will be used to support construction of The Couture, the 44-story, 700,000 square foot, mixed-use skyscraper that will be built on County land along Milwaukee’s lakefront, incorporating numerous public amenities, including a concourse for the Milwaukee County Bus Rapid Transit line, which will link downtown to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa, and for the Milwaukee streetcar, The Hop. Construction is expected to begin in January 2021.

“HUD’s Firm Commitment marks the final financial commitment required for us to begin construction on The Couture,” said Rick Barrett. “We are thrilled to be working with the City, County and HUD on this catalytic development that will transform this vacant site into a dynamic public space that improves access to the lakefront, creates thousands of new jobs and adds a signature building to Milwaukee’s skyline.”

Earlier this year Barrett | Lo secured the equity funding necessary to advance the project and resubmitted the project to HUD for approval. With HUD’s loan guaranty, the project has the financing necessary to advance to construction, which is expected to begin in January 2021.

“This is a great step forward for this remarkable project,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “The Couture is a beautiful addition at an exceptional location. The project will create construction jobs for city residents and work for emerging businesses; and it will add a transportation link that connects more people to the lakefront. The center of our city will be stronger with the Couture, and that is beneficial to everyone in Milwaukee.”

“The Couture will become a national model for transit-oriented development,” said County Executive David Crowley, “transforming an underutilized County property into a catalytic development that connects our community in innovative ways, bridges downtown to the lakefront and brings thousands of new construction jobs to our community at a time when they are needed more than ever.”

Public Amenities
“The Couture is much more than a landmark building,” said Rick Barrett. “It will be a true destination that achieves what the Downtown Transit Center was meant to become – a lively, multi-modal transportation hub at Milwaukee’s lakefront.”

The Couture has been designed, from the ground up, to be a key part of the Lakefront Gateway project, including with a multimodal transportation hub incorporating the lakefront streetcar line, pedestrian walkways and bridges, Bus Rapid Transit, county buses and Bublr Bikes that will serve millions of visitors annually and direct them to area retail, downtown businesses, nearby attractions and public lakefront pathways. Twenty-five percent of the total building and 97 percent of the ground level will be for public use.

Workforce Development
Workforce development is a key priority for the developer, as well as the City and County. Rick Barrett has committed an additional $100,000 toward an apprenticeship training program being run by Employ Milwaukee. Together with a grant from Employee Milwaukee, and other County resources, there will be $500,000 in training resources to help County residents gain family-supporting careers in construction.

In addition, The Couture will also meet or exceed both City and County hiring targets, including employing County residents for 40% of the work on the project and contracting with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for at least 25% of the project.

“These new jobs and improved lakefront are only possible because of the strong leadership and vision from our elected officials – including the current and former Milwaukee County Executive, Milwaukee County Board, as well as the Mayor and Common Council,” said Rick Barrett. “I deeply appreciate their commitment to making our community a better place for all residents.”

Recent Press Releases by Barrett Lo Visionary Development

The Couture Secures Financing For $188 million Project Construction to Begin January 2021

44-story mixed-use skyscraper will create new public amenities and thousands of new jobs

The Couture Marks Major Milestone: Invited to Firm Loan Commitment Stage of HUD Loan Guaranty Program

“This is a major milestone for The Couture that enables us to move forward with the final stage of financing,” said Rick Barrett.

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