Bader Philanthropies to move HQ from Third Ward to King Drive

Will renovate 89-year-old building

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Bader Philanthropies, Inc., one of southeastern Wisconsin’s largest foundations, plans to move its headquarters from the Historic Third Ward to King Drive in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood.

Rendering of new Bader Philanthropies headquarters
Rendering of new Bader Philanthropies headquarters

Bader Philanthropies, formerly known as the Helen Bader Foundation, will renovate and add a small addition to the building at 3318 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The two-story building was constructed in 1927 and has an assessed value of $107,000, according to city records.

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

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“Our family business, Aldrich Chemical Company, was located in the City of Milwaukee for 24 years,” said Daniel Bader, president and CEO of Bader Philanthropies. “Personally, I remember the times when my mother, Helen Daniels Bader, volunteered at the Legal Aid Society. She was deeply passionate about helping men, women and children living in the central city reach their full potential. By making the decision to move to Harambee, we are coming full circle by having a physical presence back in the central city.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the foundation already makes a difference in many neighborhoods, but with this action, Bader Philanthropies is using more than money to make a difference.

Since 1992, Bader Philanthropies has granted more than $265 million and has given more than 6,000 grants to nonprofits in 10 different countries.

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Site plan for new headquarters
Site plan for new headquarters

“A great deal of Bader Philanthropies’ work is focused on the future in projects such as workforce development and community partnerships for youth,” said Milwaukee Department of City Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux. “It is that forward-thinking approach that has led the organization to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive where it will be a big part of this neighborhood’s growth.”

Bader said several other locations in the city were considered, but the King Drive site in Harambee was chosen because it builds on the foundation’s existing commitment in the neighborhood, which totals nearly $20 million in grants and program related investments.

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.

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In addition to the building at 3318 N. Martin Luther King Drive that it plans to renovate and expand, Bader Philanthropies also purchased two other private properties and four sites owned by the City of Milwaukee. Buildings on those sites, in the 3300 block of Martin Luther King Drive, will be razed to provide room for the building addition and for up to 50 parking spaces and green space.

Construction work is scheduled to begin in June 2017.

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