County seeking developer ideas for Coggs building

The existing Marcia P. Coggs Building at 1220 W. Vliet St.

Last updated on February 10th, 2023 at 02:24 pm

Milwaukee County’s Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center at 1220 W. Vilet St. in Milwaukee, could be spared the wrecking ball.

The county, which is planning on building a new, 59,876-square-foot Coggs Building at a vacant parcel on 1260 W. Cherry St., had originally planned to raze the current building, a former Schuster’s department store, but its Economic Development Division threw preservationists and developers a lifeline of sorts this week when it issued a “request for information” (RFI) seeking redevelopment ideas for the 113-year-old building.

In an email alert, county officials state they are “soliciting information, data, comments, and/or reactions from potential developers interested in the purchase of and/or development/redevelopment” of the building.

Officials go onto state that they are “seeking responses from developers with ideas to advance the adaptive reuse of (the) property, which could include a wide mix of office, residential, commercial, retail, and service uses at this high-profile gateway site.”

The development site would include the L-shaped, four-story, 212,000-square-foot building, as well as an adjacent 0.78-acre parcel that might also be available for development/parking purposes. Parking is likely to play a key role in the county’s review of any proposals. Officials had originally planned to raze the existing Coggs building in order to provide parking spaces for the new building, which will be constructed behind the parking lot of the existing building, on the other side Cherry Street.

Upon completion of the newly constructed building, the new Coggs building will require about 250 parking spots. The current configuration of the site – with the old Coggs building still in place – only provides around 127 dedicated parking spots, the RFI states.

“Any RFI response must contain a solution for the county’s total parking needs of 250 spots as well as address any additional parking needs created by redevelopment of the site,” the notice states. “The county may demolish the Coggs building to provide the additional parking spots needed if there are no suitable and feasible ideas for redevelopment that also meet the county’s parking needs.”

Responses to the RFI are due on March 6. If the county decides to seek redevelopment proposals (RFP) for the building it will issue a separate solicitation, a notice states.

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Cara covers commercial and residential real estate. She has an extensive background in local government reporting and hopes to use her experience writing about both urban and rural redevelopment to better inform readers. Cara lives in Waukesha with her husband, a teenager, a toddler, a dog named Neutron, a bird named Potter, and a lizard named Peyoye. She loves music, food, and comedy, but not necessarily in that order.

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