Wauwatosa considers redevelopment of City Hall, library site

RFP issued for market study to determine best use of civic center area

Arte is in Wauwatosa's Village district.

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

The city of Wauwatosa is considering a major redevelopment of its civic center campus, located at the prominent southwest corner of North Avenue and North Wauwatosa Avenue, which could include residential and retail development.

The city has issued a request for proposal for the 8.5 acre site at 7635-7725 W. North Ave., which is currently occupied by City Hall, the Wauwatosa Civic Center and the Wauwatosa Public Library.

This is the first step in considering the feasibility of redeveloping the site and constructing new city facilities.

“The city is trying to understand the real estate market potential to see what is possible (for the site),” said James Archambo, city administrator.

The RFP is due on March 1 and the city will award a contract April 5 to conduct a market assessment.

Archambo said if the assessment comes out favorably, the city would move forward with a second RFP that would likely ask for developers to propose concept plans for the site.

The city would like the library to remain at its current location, but ideally the building will be redeveloped, Archambo said. City Hall and the Wauwatosa Civic Center could also remain at the current location, or might be relocated to an undetermined location – depending on what the market analysis shows and what a developer proposes.

“There is a hierarchy of interests that has come out of our conversations about this project and the library is definitely number one,” Archambo said. “If possible, we would like to get a significant share of the cost for our new facilities paid for by the development itself. Possibly the cost of the library and some, but certainly not all, the balance of a new municipal complex could be paid for.”

The oldest part of city hall dates back to 1955, when the city of Wauwatosa and the town merged. The building has been added onto several times and is inefficient, Archambo said.

“The primary purpose of this RFP is to figure out exactly what the market value of the property is, demand and the best uses,” he said. “We have more space than what is needed.”

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