Wisconsin’s tallest housing tower, The Couture, gets underway in Milwaukee – The Daily Reporter – WI Construction News & Bids – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-05-11 12:38:59 –

Officials will meet on Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the Couture project near the meeting point of Lincoln Memorial Drive and East Michigan Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. Work on the long-planned 44-story residential tower has finally begun. This project has been in the book for nearly a decade. (Staff photo by Nate Beck)

The crew officially started construction on the Couture High-rise project on Tuesday. After nearly a decade of work, the 44-story tower will eventually overlook Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee.

The ceremony took place last week after the US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it had finalized a $ 104.7 million construction loan and a $ 188 million project guarantee.

Rick Barrett of Barrett Lo Visionary Development said couture work began 50 years after the construction of the adjacent US Bank Tower, the tallest building in the state, began. The tallest residential tower, Couture, will be 516 feet high when completed and is expected to be about 100 feet shy from the US Bank Tower. Barrett said he felt “slightly euphoric” when he saw the crew begin excavation work on Tuesday.

“It’s been 50 years since the last time in the skyscrapers of Milwaukee,” he said. “There are a lot of things we need to do together to make it work.”

Barrett first proposed a couture skyscraper in 2012, but found that the project had many delays over the years. Among the biggest obstacles was a two-year legal dispute over the proper use of land near the lakeside of Milwaukee. Barrett Lo also missed the deadline for applying for a HUD loan in 2019.

Barrett hired financial services company Baird to find additional investors in the project and reapplied for support from the HUD. Federal officials announced in November that they had extended the project’s loan guarantee, indicating that the project was on the verge of launching.

Work at the couture site near where Lincoln Memorial Drive meets East Michigan Avenue begins with the removal of concrete slabs and the replacement of the sewer system on the west side of the property, said Eric Win, general manager of chief contractor JHFindoff. Said. The project’s subcontractor, Super Excavators, will need at least six months to remove enough soil from the site to make room for a two-story underground car park. Approximately 15 trucks are used daily to transport materials.

“I’ve told most people, it’s probably about a year before we reach the level of the street,” Win said.

BarrettLo and JHFindorff worked together in 2017 to demolish a former county-owned bus center on the premises and work with Milwaukee City authorities to extend sewerage services to the facility later that year. The crew also rebuilt the wall between the couture site and the adjacent 833 East Tower, designed the necessary sewer system, and tested the underlying soil.

After the construction of the tower itself begins next year, the crew will need to complete the transit terminal on the ground floor to serve the Milwaukee tram Hop, by June 30, 2022. The city of Milwaukee offers an incentive of about $ 20 million for its project, including the infrastructure of a high-speed transit line that runs to Wauwatosa.

According to Win, Findorff is still in the early stages of getting subcontractors involved in the project. He and his colleagues said Couture brought prism technology management to support employment requirements that must be met as a result of support from the city and Milwaukee County.

Construction workers have been preparing for the work for months since Barrett Law was officially approved for funding, Win said.

“The whole project has a tight deadline. Everyone has been waiting for this for a long time,” he said. “We were anxious to move forward and to make as much progress as possible as soon as possible.”

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