Wangard plans downtown office building

Milwaukee-based Wangard Properties announced plans this week to build an eight-story, 155,000-square-foot office building on top of a parking garage just south of the eight-story 875 East Wisconsin office building at 875 E. Wisconsin Ave.

The architectural style of the new building will be similar to the 875 building, said Stewart Wangard, the company’s chairman. In addition, there will be several "connectors" on multiple floors between the two buildings.

"875 East Wisconsin is currently 100 percent leased to some of Milwaukee’s best companies, some of whom are eyeing growth in the not-too-distant future," Wangard said. "Building a new tower compatible to 875 East is the best way to plan for growth opportunities, as well as meet the needs for other businesses for state-of-the-art office space downtown. There are several potential new tenants for the new building, and talks we’ve had with key prospects are ongoing and productive. Continued growth in the Third Ward, the impending completion of the Marquette Interchange and Michigan Avenue’s emergence as a gateway to the lakefront have given added excitement to this project."

Wangard is working with city and county officials to finalize plans for the building. An amendment to the area’s tax incremental financing (TIF) district is being considered to help with infrastructure costs for the project, including plans to upgrade Michigan Avenue, which is just south of the parking garage that the building would be built on top of.

"With both the Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum and the new Discovery (World) right along this route, Michigan Avenue is fast becoming an important entry to downtown Milwaukee and the Third Ward," Wangard said. "A new tower and redesigned roadway will be significant positive additions to this key downtown area, and we look forward to working with the city, county and our other partners to make this project a reality."

Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects will design the building and the general contractor will be Milwaukee-based CG Schmidt. The engineering firms for the project are Arnold & Sheridan Inc. and Ring and DuChateau. A groundbreaking date for the project has not been set.

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