JCP Construction to redevelop King Drive building into fine dining restaurant

Milwaukee firm selected to purchase vacant city-owned property

2368 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Milwaukee-based JCP Construction plans to purchase a long-vacant building on King Drive in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville neighborhood and redevelop it onto a fine dining restaurant and lounge.

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

JCP was awarded the chance to purchase the city-owned property at 2368 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Thursday by the Bronzeville Advisory Committee. The company was one of three vying for the chance to redevelop the 4,844-square-foot, two-story building.

JCP 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.

JCP Construction will be the general contractor for the project and it will be developed by James Phelps, president of JCP.

Rockford’s Blue Water Grill/James Garner II will be the owner/operator of the restaurant, which will employ 10 full-time and nine part-time people paid $9 an hour, according to documents submitted to the city.

Phelps said he was interested in the building to add additional business on King Drive.

“We specifically wanted more restaurants and other dining experiences for the neighborhood,” Phelps said.

JCP was awarded the property on the condition the company would obtain a liquor license and the floor plan would follow ADA regulations.

If JCP does not comply with those stipulations, the building will be sold to Burnsville, Minn.-based CM Construction Co., which would sell the space to Reign Arts & Entertainment Facility/Neaokia Collins/Pure Entertainment Group for an entertainment and event rental facility.

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

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