MPM acquires future museum site in downtown Milwaukee for nearly $8.1 million

New 230,000 building planned at Sixth and McKinley

Rendering of a possible Silurian Reef exhibit in the future Milwaukee Public Museum. (Rendering: Luci Creative)

Last updated on March 1st, 2021 at 01:54 pm

The Milwaukee Public Museum has purchased the site of its future museum for nearly $8.1 million, according to state records.

MPM plans to eventually move to a new, 230,000-square-foot facility it plans to build northeast of West McKinley Avenue and North Sixth Street in downtown Milwaukee. Museum officials announced the spot of its future home in September.

The 2.4-acre site consists of three parcels. An MPM affiliate, Historic Haymarket Milwaukee LLC, acquired the parcels from their respective owners.

They include 520 W. McKinley Ave., where The Bartolotta Restaurants offices are located. It was sold for $2.5 million by Martin Drive Real Estate LLC, which is led by Jennifer Bartolotta.

The property at 1310 N. Sixth St. was also sold for $2.5 million. The seller is First Partners LLC, which is registered to Dan Druml of The Druml Co.

And the property at 1340 N. Sixth St. was sold by Haymarket Properties LLC, registered to James Barry of The Barry Co., for $3.08 million.

The buildings now standing on those properties will need to be demolished to make way for the project.

An MPM spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MPM’s $240 million project may get assistance from the state. Gov. Tony Evers recommended $40 million in state funds go toward the museum project in his 2021-2023 capital budget plan.

The natural history museum itself is expected to cost $170 million. Other project costs include site acquisition, transition costs, endowment costs, moving collections and building out a 30,000-square-foot space for Betty Brinn Children’s Museum’s new home within the new museum complex.

MPM's new home may eventually go up northeast of Sixth Street and McKinley Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.
MPM’s new home may eventually go up northeast of Sixth Street and McKinley Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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