See photos of construction progress at The Couture in downtown Milwaukee

Concrete pouring for residential floors expected to top off by November

Last updated on March 14th, 2023 at 12:21 pm

Roughly a year out from its target for completion, construction on The Couture is about to pick up the pace.

Crews recently poured the concrete foundation for the fifth floor, which is the tower’s first full residential floor plate. From now until November, crews will follow the same exact process for each 9,800-square-foot residential floor plate up to the top floor.

“That’s a milestone for us because what that means is floor five through floor 40 is rinse and repeat, and with that, we’ll be able to move a floor every four days,” said Rick Barrett, founder and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Barrett Lo Visionary Development, the development firm for the project.

Local media on Thursday were invited to tour the construction progress on the 44-story building, under construction southwest of Lincoln Memorial Drive and Michigan Street. Once complete, The Couture will have 322 apartments, a two-level transit center and nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space on the lower four floors.

At this point, the building’s concrete and steel core has been constructed up to the 11th floor. Mechanical teams have begun installing utility systems in the basement of the structure, but the vast majority of the work for the 100 construction workers on site these days is focused on the concrete structure, said Eric Sadler, senior project manager at J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., the project’s general contractor.

Construction began in the spring of 2021 and is expected to be complete in early 2024. The building, designed by Milwaukee-based RINKA, will be the tallest residential tower in the state.

With much of its skeleton structure now place, the expansive retail space on the lower levels is beginning to take shape. Barrett Lo is working with Allison Curtin, principal of Milwaukee-based Barchetta Real Estate Advisory, on mapping out how the space could be divided into smaller units. Barrett said he expects the space will be ready to show off to potential tenants this spring or summer.

“That’s going to help us with the momentum that’s already been achieved on the retail front and take it a step further with some restaurants and some things that we’re working on behind the scenes,” said Barrett.

Construction to complete the extension of The Hop streetcar track through the transit hub at The Couture is expected to begin April 3, a company spokesperson said in September of last year. That portion of the project “remains on schedule,” Barrett said Thursday. He hinted at forthcoming updates related to how the transit concourse would fit with the city of Milwaukee’s planned reconstruction of West Michigan Street.

“With the design that’s been brought forth by the city – and I don’t want to unveil this now – but there’s a couple phases to it and what they’re trying to achieve at the corner there, and it’s all very exciting. I think the way they’ve thought about it, the way they are looking at designing it for Michigan to Clybourn connection to the lakefront is thoughtful, mindful and well done,” said Barrett.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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