Houston-based Hines is on track to receive $903,000 in tax incremental finance assistance for a 210-linear foot RiverWalk connection project it plans to construct as part of its 31-story apartment tower project at 333 N. Water St. in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.
Members of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee recently backed a Department of City Development proposal to amend a TIF district, which will allow the city to provide a cash grant for the RiverWalk portion of the project.
The money being provided for the Hines tower RiverWalk improvements will help fund the construction of a public access connection to the existing RiverWalk from the corner of St. Paul Avenue and Water Street. It will also fund the construction of a dock wall replacement that will support the entire project, including the RiverWalk connection and existing RiverWalk.
Enhancing the RiverWalk
Devon Patterson, principal of project architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz of Chicago, noted in August of last year that the tower would be “pulled back” from the northern and western edges of the property to enhance the experience for RiverWalk users and retail customers.
There will also be open public space between the RiverWalk and the tower. This will provide spill-out dining areas for restaurant or café tenants, developers said.
The public walkway runs along the Milwaukee River on the west side of the property.
Project on track for groundbreaking
In addition to 333 apartments, plans show 11,750 square feet of ground-floor retail space across three separate units. They include 1,760 square feet in the northeast corner of the building, 4,870 square feet to the south along Water Street, and 5,120 square feet largely facing the RiverWalk.
The RiverWalk-facing space would be ideal for a restaurant user, Patterson said last year.
Developers had initially planned to begin construction in August, but a spokesperson for Hines said a groundbreaking will likely take place by Labor Day (Sept. 5).
The project seems to be on track to hit that new construction start date, with Chicago-based W.E. O’Neil Construction as lead contractor. The site, which up until now had been a parking lot, is now fenced off and some Michels Corp. construction equipment has been brought to the site.
A surveyor was present on the site just last week, as well, and a search of city land records shows that architects have applied for several construction permits.
A building and analysis form submitted for the project, puts the current planned height for the structure at 342 feet, with a total of 542,285 square feet that includes a 400-space parking garage.