UWM steps back on Northridge campus consideration

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:22 pm

State budget shortfall poses too much uncertainty for university to proceed with satellite site search

The state’s fiscal crisis has prompted the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to postpone its consideration of opening a satellite campus at Northridge Mall onthe city’s northwest side.
UWM had discussed the notion of leasing space at Northridge last year, according to Donald Melkus, vice chancellor for administrative affairs.
The satellite campus would have provided space to offer basic introductory courses in UWM’s College of Letters and Science.
"Everything has been put somewhat on hold until we come to grips with the budget," Melkus said.
Gov. Scott McCallum signed a state budget repair bill July 26 to help the state avoid a $1.1 billion, election-year deficit without raising taxes.
With the state using $825 million in tobacco settlement funds to balance the budget, funding for programs and the state’s university system in 2003 and 2004 remains in jeopardy.
UWM still intends to eventually open a satellite campus to help expand its enrollment from 24,000 to 30,000 students, but the university is no longer actively seeking another site, Melkus said.
"Are we as active as we were a year ago? The answer is no. Are we still interested? The answer to that is yes," Melkus said.
Northridge, which remains mostly vacant, is owned by Highland Park, Ill.-based Tucker Development Corp.
Tucker has received a significant amount of inquiries about the Northridge site, according to Cary Glenner, executive vice president of the firm.
"We are still exploring several opportunities," Glenner said. "It’s an important, vital piece of property in Milwaukee. We’re long-term players, and we want to do this the right way.
"We’ve been getting several phone calls. We’ve talked to some smart people in Milwaukee, and it will be first-class. It very well might look like a comprehensive, mixed-use development," Glenner said.

Aug. 16, 2002 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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