Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:03 pm
The owners of the Shops of Grand Avenue are planning a large mixed-use development at the surface parking lot on the southwest corner of East St. Paul Avenue and North Water Street in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.
Chuck Biller and Tony Janowiec of the Milwaukee-based Aggero Group have an option to purchase the 0.79 acre site at 333 N. Water St. from long-time owner Paul Ianelli.
Biller and Janowiec have been eyeing the property for 15 years and said now is the time to make a move on the valuable piece of land.
“It’s such an important site,” Janowiec said. “It’s the gateway to the Third Ward, it’s on the streetcar line, it borders the (downtown) central business district, and it’s one of the four remaining signature sites in the Third Ward.”
Ianelli’s attorney, Henry Piano, said the buyers are in the “due diligence process,” and he anticipates the purchase of the land would be complete by mid-summer.
“I have a deep obligation of confidentiality for my client and I will not discuss this matter,” Piano said.
Biller and Janowiec said they are seriously considering a hotel at the site and have also discussed multi-family. They plan to announce concrete plans for the site this summer once they have closed on the property.
The site is assessed by the city of Milwaukee for $1.2 million. The price of the site creates a challenge for the project, Biller and Janowiec said.
“It is going to have to have multiple elements in order for it to be viable,” Biller said. “The challenge is you have to put together a group of uses that will pay for it.”
On Monday, during a presentation on the future of the Shops of Grand Avenue, an audience member asked Janowiec how he plans to connect the downtown mall to the Third Ward.
“We’re planning to take out another surface lot in the Third Ward,” Janowiec said, apparently referring to the site at St. Paul and Water.
He also mentioned that Choice Hotels is planning to build a Cambria Hotels & Suites at 503-521 N. Plankinton Ave., on the block northwest of Plankinton Avenue and Clybourn Street, next to the mall’s parking structure.