Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp is examining the possibility of redeveloping the 900-space parking structure located to the south of its 42-story office tower in downtown Milwaukee.
U.S. Bank hired Brookfield-based Hammes Co. to help create a redevelopment plan for the parking structure. U.S. Bank has been working on the project with Hammes since last fall.
"We are investigating the possibility of replacing our parking structure," said U.S. Bancorp vice president Joe Ullrich. "In doing so we are investigating how we might re-build it to allow for the best chance for a redevelopment, the highest and best use, rather than just a replacement. Hammes is helping us determine what we should be looking at."
Stuart Zadra, vice president of Hammes Co., declined to disclose details about the development that could be incorporated into the parking structure site.
"We are in the initial stages of establishing that plan," he said.
The property’s location near Lake Michigan and next to the U.S. Bank building and near other major downtown firms, including Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Johnson Controls, makes it very attractive for development, Zadra said. The recession makes a major redevelopment difficult, but the involvement of a major financial institution such as U.S. Bank is a major plus, he said.
A few years ago U.S. Bank partnered with JBK Properties on a proposed 40-story mixed use building for the site of the garage annex, located southeast of the U.S. Bank office tower and next to the tower’s parking structure. That project, called Lake Pointe Tower, never moved forward because JBK could not obtain an anchor office tenant.
The garage annex would be incorporated into the master plan for the parking structure redevelopment, Ullrich said.
U.S. Bancorp hopes to begin work on the project this year, Ullrich said.
"We’re looking at a plan to do significant repairs to the parking structure or to start a redevelopment project before the end of the year," he said.