High rise on Milwaukee’s lakefront to replace useless transit center in the works
The talk has been out there for a while about a new piece of development along the Milwaukee lakefront at the site of the County transit center, but now we're finally seeing some renderings of what the proposal could look like.
The new high rise looks impressive to be sure, although it won't be taller than the US Bank building despite what it might look like here.
This stems from the tragedy at O'Donnell Park a few years ago which led to a lakefront development committee (which I was involved in) which led to a recommendation that the site of the Milwaukee County transit center (directly to the south of O'Donnell Park) should be put to better use.
The building would be a mix of hotel and apartments, be 44 stories tall and cost around $120 million.
While the rendering looks good and I'm usually in support of developments that add to Milwaukee's downtown, this project has a long way to go before it's a done deal.
While CE Abele is supportive of the plan, it still has to get through the County Board. There is also the question being raised by many natural area supporters who say that the transit center falls on filled in lake bed. That means it would be subject to the public trust doctrine which specifies that no private development can occur on land which was at one time part of Lake Michigan and has since been filled in.
I've received a copy of several documents that show old surveys of where the lake used to be and how it's possible that the transit center's current location makes it subject to the doctrine.
We'll see where that all goes though. In the meantime, it's a pretty picture to look at and has a lot of potential.