City seeks redevelopment project for King Drive building

Three developers that responded to RFP invited to give presentations

2368 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:01 pm

A long-vacant commercial building in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville district could be getting some new life breathed into it as three developers vie for a chance to redevelop it into a restaurant or event venue.

2368 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
2368 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

The Bronzeville Advisory Committee has invited three development teams who have submitted requests for proposals for the city-owned property at 2368 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to give oral presentations of their plans for the 4,844-square-foot, two-story building.

Milwaukee-based JCP Construction has offered $7,500 for the property and plans on spending $1.3 million to renovate the space to create a 125-seat fine dining restaurant and lounge that would serve upscale cuisine serving everything from African to Pacific Rim food.

The property would be purchased by Rockford’s Blue Water Grill/James Garner II, according to plans submitted to the city. The restaurant would employ 10 full-time and nine part-time people paid $9 an hour.

Burnsville, Minn.-based CM Construction offered to buy the property for $1 to $15,000, and renovate it for $145,000. The company would then sell the space to Reign Arts & Entertainment Facility/Neaokia Collins/Pure Entertainment Group for an entertainment and event rental facility. The company would employ five full-time and 10 part-time people paid $12 an hour.

Another development team, that was not listed, offered to purchase the building for $2,500 to $16,000 and renovate it for $57,500. It would be sold to Seafood & Lemonade/Thomas J. Holmes II/Leave it TO Jay Catering and be converted into a 60-seat upscale restaurant and lounge “combining the saltiness of seafood with the sweetness of lemonade, catering with condos and rental townhomes.” The business would employ six full-time people and two part-time people paid $13.50 an hour.

The city of Milwaukee through its Department of City Development and Common Council have been working to revitalize the Bronzeville neighborhood, which is located just north of downtown. City leaders have said they are trying to be careful to choose projects that won’t alienate existing residents.

“We want to mix the income of that neighborhood, but we also want the people in Bronzeville to stay as long as they want and to prosper there,” Rocky Marcoux, commissioner for the Department of City Development, said during a June interview.

The Common Council will ultimately decide which development proposal, if any, to choose.

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