Variety of uses proposed in responses to Downtown Transit Center RFI

Milwaukee County officials say they are pleased with the responses to a request for information (RFI) that was issued seeking developer interest in the Downtown Transit Center site on the lakefront.

Officials declined to disclose details about the responses to the RFI, but Milwaukee County Economic Development director Brian Taffora said, “we’re very excited about what’s being proposed.”

The number of responses to the RFI, “wasn’t a huge number, but it was a good number of people that can do it,” he said.

The proposals for the 2.2-acre site are mixed use developments including office, apartments, hotels, retail space and public space, Taffora said.

All of the responses included connectivity to the lakefront, as called for in the long range lakefront master plan, he said.

Some proposals call for one building, others for up to three buildings. The size of the buildings proposed varies from 40-some stores to 20-some stories, Taffora said.
The tallest building proposed is a 40-some story residential building, which would be shorter than the 42-story U.S. Bank Center, which is an office building and therefore has higher floor levels than a residential building, he said.

Now county officials will evaluate the proposals to determine their feasibility, Taffora said.

If officials determine the strongest project is feasible they will ask the County Board to allow them to begin negotiations with the developer, he said. Once those negotiations are complete the project details will be made public and the project will be up for review by the County Board.

“We’d like to move as soon as possible on this,” Taffora said. “If we can get jobs there and increase the tax base, that would be fantastic.”

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