Wangard plans new office building on Laacke & Joys site

Firm wants to demolish building constructed in 1874

The former Laacke & Joys building in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:04 pm

Wauwatosa-based Wangard Partners has submitted plans to the city of Milwaukee to tear down a four-story, 142-year-old building, and another building, on the former Laacke & Joys site in downtown Milwaukee to build a new office building and a 12-story hotel.

The former Laacke & Joys building in downtown Milwaukee.
Wangard Partners wants to tear down this former Laacke & Joys building, constructed in 1874, in downtown Milwaukee.

Wangard Partners chief executive officer Stewart Wangard said in January during a presentation at the Institute of Real Estate Management Milwaukee chapter’s annual real estate forecast breakfast that the firm was working on an office building project for the site. Last July, BizTimes Milwaukee first reported on Wangard’s plans for a redevelopment project on the site.

Now the firm has submitted development plans for the project with the city.

The site, located at 1433 N. Water St. along the Milwaukee River, currently has three buildings: a four-story building constructed in 1874, which is connected to a four-story building to the south that was built in 1930, and a separate one-story garage building.

Wangard wants to tear down the garage building and the 1874 building, the largest building at the center of the site, to make way for the new office building and hotel.

The new five-story office building would be attached to the 1930 building, which would create a total of 113,830 square feet of office space.

The site of the garage building would temporarily be used as a parking lot for the office building, but would later be the site of a 12-story hotel, according to the plans submitted by Wangard. Plans for the hotel are expected to be submitted “at a later date,” the firm said in its filing with the city.

The development plans include a riverwalk segment that will be connected to the riverwalk at The North End phase IV.

Milwaukee-based Plunkett Raysich Architects LLP is the design firm for the project.

Laacke & Joys ended manufacturing operations in building in 2013 and closed its store there in early 2014.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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