The state of Wisconsin is again looking for sites suitable for a new 100,000-square-foot Milwaukee crime laboratory.
State officials prefer development sites in Milwaukee's western suburbs, though they'd consider areas closer to downtown such as the Historic Third Ward and Menomonee River Valley, according to a request for proposals.
The Department of Administration issued the RFP on Thursday, seeking developers interested in building new or renovating an existing building for a two- to three-story "state-of-the-art forensic science laboratory and supporting office facility."
State officials have sought a new crime lab facility for several years.
In 2017, the state and Wauwatosa-based Wangard Partners Inc. pursued a $75 million crime lab in Wauwatosa. That project never moved forward. It then considered combining the crime lab with a new Milwaukee state office building. Gov. Tony Evers included $98.5 million in his 2019-21 capital budget plan, but state legislators rejected the funding proposal.
This latest RFP states the new crime lab must be located in Milwaukee County or eastern Waukesha County. Its specific preference is for a location with little foot traffic and general public access, but with easy vehicle access to major roadways.
The state specifically prefers a site within an industrial, medical or research park with freeway access. It specifically prefers sites in an area with a northern border of Highway 190 at the western end, before running southeast approximately along the Menomonee River until it reaches West State Street. The area's southern border is West Cleveland Avenue, its western border is South Calhoun Road and eastern border is Highway 175/Miller Park.
Officials will also consider industrial areas south of I-94 extending east to the lake and north of Cleveland Avenue, to include the Menomonee River Valley and Third Ward areas.
Other requirements include a parcel of sufficient size to accommodate a potential expansion of up to 25,000 square feet. At least 185 on-site parking spaces are needed, including 110 secured 24/7 stalls for staff.
The state would consider leasing either a single- or multi-tenant facility. It also prefers that co-located organizations have "potential synergies and affinities of business operations" with the lab, such as applied science-based research institutions or forensic operations of federal, state and local government entities.
General lease terms include a 20-year initial lease, with four five-year renewal options.
Proposals are due back to the state on March 4. A targeted occupancy date is slated for November 2023.
DOA officials did not immediately respond to a request for further details.
Wangard Partners may try again with a new proposal, said firm chairman and chief executive Stu Wangard.
"We learned a lot about the state's needs during the last proposal," Wangard said in an email. "We will be reviewing the current RFP and may elect to resubmit."