State might combine Milwaukee office building, crime lab projects

Also expands possible sites to include eastern Waukesha County

The state office building in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:52 pm

The state has revised plans for its new Milwaukee office building and the Southeast Wisconsin Law Enforcement Facility and could possibly combine the two projects. The possible location of the projects has also been expanded to include eastern Waukesha County.

The state office building in downtown Milwaukee will be replaced

In early March, the Department of Administration issued a new request for proposal for its $75 million crime lab (Southeast Wisconsin Law Enforcement Facility) project. The three-story, 150,000-square-foot facility was originally going to be developed by Wangard Partners at 1400 N. 113th St. in Wauwatosa.

In November 2017, the DOA and Wangard Partners announced the project was moving forward and expected to break ground in spring 2018. Wangard chairmand and CEO Stu Wangard, could not immediately be reached for comment.

“The revised RFP allows the state to look for efficiencies and ultimately save taxpayer money on the project,” said DOA spokesman Steve Michels.

According to the RFP, the new crime lab will now be 100,000 square feet and could be located in Milwaukee or eastern Waukesha counties.

State officials will consider a stand-alone project or the crime lab combined with the new state office building.

In February, the DOA issued an RFP for a new office building to be built within the city of Milwaukee, with preference for a site in the area bounded by West Hampton Avenue on the north, West Mitchell Street on the south, Highway 32, Milwaukee Street, North Holton Street , Shorewood and Highway 57 on the east and Highway 175 on the west.

Boundaries have now been expanded and could include Waukesha County if the land for development can accommodate both the state office building and crime lab projects.

The new 165,000-square-foot state office building will replace its 54-year-old downtown Milwaukee office building at 819 N. 6th St.

The Near West Side Partners organization has been working to acquire properties and improve the block southwest of North 27th Street and West Wisconsin Avenue for future development. The group had planned to make a bid for the state office building at the site.

On Wednesday, the Greenfield Common Council approved a development agreement with 84South developer Cobalt Partners enabling Cobalt to develop two city parcels. The 20-acre site, known as Loomis Crossings, located west of Loomis Road and north of I-894, will be pitched by Cobalt in the RFP for the state crime lab, according to the development agreement.

The RFP process for the crime lab and the state office building closes April 11.

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