As part of its Allis Yards mixed-use development in West Allis, Cobalt Partners LLC plans to turn an existing building along South 70th Street into an event venue.
The Milwaukee-based developer will renovate the building at 1139 S. 70th St. and use the space as a "premiere event venue," catering to such functions as weddings and corporate outings, according to city documents.
Interior renovations include a banquet and caterer's areas, updated restrooms, a bride's room and groom's room, a grand staircase and an open-loft gathering space. Alterations to the building's exterior include relocation of the main entrance, new windows and a new second-story balcony that could hold a maximum of 49 people.
The venue would hold approximately 300 people.
Scott Yauck, Cobalt president and chief executive officer, said the community is in need of an event space. He said the venue will benefit from the high level of density in the area, on both commercial and residential sides.
"We think there's probably a void in the market for a space like that," he said.
Plus, it's in a good location, just a short drive from downtown and close to Interstate 94. And with the building's skylights and high ceilings, "it just lends itself to that type of use," Yauck said.
The West Allis Plan Commission will consider the project on Wednesday. Up for consideration will be a special-use permit as well as site, landscaping and architectural plans. The Common Council is expected to vote on the special use on March 3.
The proposed event venue is just one component of the Allis Yards project. Formerly named West Quarter, the $130 million-plus project involves the demolition of the old Allis-Chalmers building east of South 70th Street, between West Washington Street and West Greenfield Avenue, and in its place constructing 320,500 square feet of offices, 28,300 square feet of retail and a 128-room hotel. On the west side of the street, Cobalt is renovating existing buildings and laying plans for another mixed-use project on an additional nine acres.
Cobalt kicked off the development with a groundbreaking event in January. Since then, crews have been working to dismantle the Allis-Chalmers building. At the event, Yauck revealed the two office buildings would be constructed with mass timber, a building method that's become more popular in the Milwaukee market.
The buildings were designed in a way to give them a modern feel but also pay homage to the industrial history of the development site and the community, he said. In between the buildings will be a corridor connecting Allis Yards to the neighboring Summit Place office building, as well as Milwaukee Area Technical College's West Allis campus across 70th Street.