Evers administration again pushing plans to replace downtown Milwaukee state office building with new building on Near West Side

The state office building in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on March 1st, 2023 at 07:40 pm

Gov. Tony Evers’ administration is again pushing plans to sell the state office building at 819 N. 6th St. in downtown Milwaukee and replace it with a new building that would be built at North 27th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue on the city’s Near West Side.

That proposal was outlined today by state Department of Administration Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld as part of an update to the state’s Vision 2030 Plan, which calls for the state to evaluate and modernize its workforce and workplaces.

The Department of Administration first announced plans in 2017 to replace the 9-story, 201,200-square-foot state office building in downtown Milwaukee, which was built in 1963. In 2018 then-Gov. Scott Walker announced plans to sell the building. In 2021 the state Building Commission approved plans to purchase a site southwest of North 27th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue to build a new state office building.

But the plans to build a new state office building in Milwaukee to replace the downtown building have never moved forward as funding for the project hasn’t been approved. In 2021, Evers proposed spending $163.6 million on the project, but the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee did not include the funding in their budget plan.

Under the updated Vision 2030 Plan, specific Milwaukee offices would relocate to either the new Milwaukee state office building planned at 27th Street and Wisconsin Avenue or “to locations more convenient to the people they serve,” the state Department of Administration said in a news release.

The new Milwaukee state office building would be built through a public/private partnership with a request for proposals anticipated to be issued in late 2023 or early 2024, the DOA said.

The existing downtown Milwaukee state office building needs $95.7 million in renovations, an expense that would be avoided by moving to a new building, the DOA says.

Site at North 27th Street and Wisconsin Avenue:

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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