Milwaukee County seeks new development proposal for Park East Block 22

Plans for mixed-use project at site were dropped last year

Park East Block 22. (Credit: Google)

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:47 pm

Milwaukee County is putting Block 22 of the Park East corridor back on the market with the issuance of a request for proposals seeking developers interested in acquiring and developing the site.

Park East Block 22. (Credit: Google)

The county-owned land comprises a block bordered by North Water Street, North Milwaukee Street, East Ogden Avenue and North Broadway. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and the county’s Economic Development division on Tuesday announced the RFP had been issued for the two lots, totaling more than 99,650 square feet.

The land was initially to be developed by Wauwatosa-based Wangard Partners into a seven-story, $52 million mixed-use project that included 250 apartments and 70,000 square feet of retail space. The developer dropped those plans last year in order to pursue other projects. The county said at that time that it planned to re-issue an RFP.

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first review of proposals expected this summer, according to a news release. The county said it expects submissions for developments ranging from residential, commercial, retail or a mix of uses.

“The Park East Corridor has grown tremendously over the past several years, and the sale of Block 22 will be the capstone of development on a once desolate area of Milwaukee,” Abele said. “The area continues to spur economic growth and add local jobs, all while building a strong entertainment district for our residents and visitors. I look forward to working with a developer who understands what it means to take vacant land and transform it into something that will be positive for the community.”

This block is the last publicly controlled parcel of land from the Park East Freeway corridor area. The freeway was removed in 2002, which allowed for the reestablishment of the city street grid and opened up the land beneath it for development.

Over the last several years, private development in the corridor has attracted $1 billion in investment and spurred more than $2 billion in economic impact, according to the county’s press release. Developments in the Park East corridor area include the Fiserv Forum, the Froedtert & the Medical College Sports Science Center, residential and mixed-use developments including the Moderne high-rise and new office spaces for Bader Rutter, Manpower Group, Hammes Co. and others.

“Recent development in the Park East Corridor is living proof of what can happen when the county, residents and developers come together to take an area that was forgotten and reinvent it for the future of the community,” said Aaron Hertzberg Milwaukee County director of economic development.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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