Bader Philanthropies breaks ground on new HQ

Foundation will move from Third Ward to King Drive

Rendering of new Bader Philanthropies headquarters

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:57 pm

Bader Philanthropies, Inc. broke ground Monday morning to celebrate the start of construction for its future headquarters in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood. 

Bader Philanthropies, formerly known as the Helen Bader Foundation, announced in August 2016 plans to move from its current headquarters in the Historic Third Ward to a site on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive upon completion of the new facility.

Rendering of new Bader Philanthropies headquarters
Rendering of future Bader Philanthropies headquarters.

Foundation officials said relocating from the Third Ward to the central city will allow Bader Philanthropies to embed itself in one of the communities it supports.

Community leaders likewise applauded the project, saying it will be a catalyst for positive change in the Harambee neighborhood.

Alderwoman Milele Coggs said she appreciated Bader Philanthropies’ decision to move to the neighborhood.

“You know how people say ‘put your money where your mouth is,'” Coggs said. “It demonstrated to me that they were willing to put their building, their facility, where the work is.”

Plans for the $9.5 million project include the renovation of the two-story building at 3318 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, along with a small addition.

Frank Cumberbatch, project manager at Bader Philanthropies, touted the foundation’s commitment to working with minority-owned companies, including Milwaukee-based JCP Construction, LLCwhich is the general contractor for the project.

Alderwoman Milele Coggs addresses the crowd at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bader Philanthropies headquarters on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
Alderwoman Milele Coggs addresses the crowd at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bader Philanthropies headquarters on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Once the project is completed, the new headquarters facility will have 22,000 square feet of space. The foundation plans to move into the space in summer 2018 from its current location at 233 N. Water St.

The building will have office space for program and operations staff, conference rooms and a business center for program partners. The building will also have 3,700 square feet of meeting space on the first floor to accommodate up to 120 people.

In addition to the 3318 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive building, Bader Philanthropies purchased two other private properties and four sites owned by the City of Milwaukee to accommodate its new headquarters. 

The new headquarters development is being funded entirely by the Bader family.

One of southeastern Wisconsin’s largest foundations, Bader Philanthropies has granted more than $265 million and has given more than 6,000 grants to nonprofits in 10 different countries since 1992.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.