Marek Landscaping to establish Port Milwaukee operation

Trucks line up to deliver agricultural products to the privately-operated Cofco International grain elevator in the Milwaukee harbor.
Trucks line up to deliver agricultural products to the privately-operated Cofco International grain elevator in the Milwaukee harbor.

Port Milwaukee on Wednesday announced a new long term lease arrangement with an affiliate of Milwaukee-based Marek Landscaping.

Founded in 1996, Marek Landscaping provides contracting services for sustainable waterfront design and habitat restoration across Wisconsin.

The lease agreement, which can be potentially extended over a span of 50 years, will generate over $1.3 million in new revenues for the city of Milwaukee, according to Port Milwaukee.

“Port Milwaukee is a ‘Port of the future’,” said Adam Tindall-Schlicht, director of Port Milwaukee. “Modern approaches to capital asset renewal and maritime transportation are required to grow the port commercially and as a regional freshwater steward. I’m pleased that Marek Landscaping will bring its expertise, customer base, and passion for sustainability to Port Milwaukee as we grow this area of our business.”

Operating from a 0.87-acre parcel at 2452 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive at the southern end of the Port, Marek Landscaping is required to contribute $3 million in new economic development at the Port as part of the agreement. Marek facilities will include a new multipurpose office and warehouse, a bridge crane, and other maritime infrastructure required to receive vessels and handle bulk materials and finished products for Marek customers.

“My vision for Marek Landscaping has always been inspired by nature and by place-making within natural systems,” said Mike Marek, president and landscape ecologist. “Marek Landscaping is a leader in the design, management and restoration of ecological areas, parks, trails, waterfronts and other green infrastructure sites. As climate change continues to impact the Great Lakes and riparian owners across Wisconsin, Marek Landscaping will be ideally positioned to serve our community with its new location at Port Milwaukee. There has never been a more critical time for our work.”

The Marek arrangement will also improve public access at the Port. The new agreement requires Marek Landscaping to advance accessibility to the Russel Avenue Fishing Pier, which is operated by the Port, near Cupertino Park. Marek will create two adjacent public parking spots at the Port for recreational activity nearby.

All Port Milwaukee lease agreements are subject to the review and approval of the Board of Harbor Commissioners, the Milwaukee Common Council and the mayor.

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Andrew Weiland 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, Weiland is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, and son, Zachary. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his son’s youth baseball and basketball teams.

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