A Milwaukee Common Council panel today endorsed a modified development agreement between the city and developer of The Couture project.
The city is making changes to its agreement with Milwaukee-based developer Barrett Lo Visionary Development following the recent approval of a $103.5 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The loan guarantee has put The Couture project on track for an early 2021 groundbreaking. The agreement, among other things, updates the construction schedule of The Couture and related public transit concourse.
Members of the Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee this morning endorsed the modified agreement. It next heads to the full Common Council for approval.
Lori Lutzka, development projects manager with the Milwaukee Department of City Development, told committee members the agreement states construction will commence by Feb. 1.
Construction of the area of the transit concourse needs to be ready for the city Department of Public Works to begin streetcar work by May 2022, she said. The lakefront line is slated to be in operation by June 30, 2022. This meets a deadline for the city to receive federal grant money, according to the agreement.
"It is anticipated the entire project will be completed in August 2023," Lutzka said.
The transit concourse will be used as a stop along the city streetcar's lakefront line and Milwaukee County's planned bus rapid-transit system.
The Couture is a $188 million development that will be built at 909 E. Michigan St., near the Lake Michigan lakefront in downtown Milwaukee. the 44-story tower will include 322 market-rate apartments, 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 900 parking spaces and the transportation concourse. There will also be roughly 30,000 square feet of publicly accessible indoor and outdoor natural spaces on the property.
Milwaukee is contributing up to $50.5 million to The Couture's construction through tax incremental financing. The city contribution will pay for construction of the lakefront line; a public-infrastructure project that includes the transit concourse, streetcar structural support and natural spaces; and relocation of a sewer main.
Per the new agreement, the transit center will be owned by the city, which will lease space to Milwaukee County for the BRT stop.