Site prep is underway for The Couture on Milwaukee’s lakefront

Rendering of The Couture from Rinka Chung Architecture.

Four years ago when I last visited Milwaukee, it looked like The Couture was a good bet to be the next tower crane along Lake Michigan.

I was wrong. For the most part. Luckily I didn’t have any money on it.

There’s still no tower crane, but site prep for The Couture has begun, as crews rip out the remnants of the concrete slab that once supported the Milwaukee Transit Center, and get the site ready for foundation work.

The Couture will be a 44-story tower at Clybourn Street, Lincoln Memorial Drive, and Michigan Street. The prime site will offer sweeping views of the lake, the stellar Milwaukee Art Museum, and the annual home of Summerfest, Henry Maier Festival Park.

Early info on The Couture had it including up to 600 units (residents? residences? hmm). Recent features, including this one from Urban Milwaukee, show a much lower number, with 322 apartments and 40,000 square feet of commercial space.

Barrett Lo Visionary Development is The Couture’s developer; Rinka Chung Architecture is the design architect. (They’re hiring! See the website for more info, plus animated renderings.) J.H. Findorff & Son is the general contractor.

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Watch via EarthCam as work begins on Milwaukee’s BMO Tower

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Google Maps image of the doomed parking garage, being demolished to make room for BMO Tower in Milwaukee.

November 16 saw groundbreaking ceremonies for BMO Tower in Milwaukee, a 25-story office building that will serve as the new home for BMO Harris Bank. Designed by Kahler Slater (Westin Milwaukee), the tower will feature 380,000 rentable square feet, and 647 parking spaces through the 8th floor. The ground floor will contain a BMO Harris bank branch. Along with BMO Harris, the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP is also signed on as a tenant.

As you can see below, our friend Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes flew over the site this weekend. BMO’s current offices are in the building on the right. To the left, you can see the demolition equipment staged atop the roof of the soon-to-be-leveled parking garage.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Aerial view courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

The new BMO Tower is being developed by Irgens, which will also renovate BMO Harris’ current space next door once they move into the new building. J.H. Findorff and Son (Marquette and The Couture) is the general contractor.

Of course, with Milwaukee being a far far far north suburb of Chicago, it’s a little out of my coverage radius. Thankfully, EarthCam sent over a link to its webcam for the BMO Tower project, so you can watch progress, starting with the demolition of the existing seven-story parking garage, live. You’ll find “View 3” is already zoomed in on the rooftop of that garage for you to get a close-up look.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

BMO Tower rendering from Kahler Slater.

BMO Tower Milwaukee

Another Google Maps image of the parking garage being demolished at Broadway and Wells.

Wandering Milwaukee: Will The Couture be Milwaukee’s next tower crane?

The Couture Milwaukee

Signage proclaims The Couture’s arrival, as the newly-opened Northwestern Mutual Tower glimmers in the background.

Rumors are swirling around the Skyscraperpage forum that The Couture is about to begin construction on one of Milwaukee’s marquee corners.

On land that used to be the Milwaukee Transit Center, Barrett Lo Visionary Development is building the 44-story, 537-foot-tall residential tower in an ideal location between the Milwaukee Art Museum and Henry W. Maier Festival Park, home of Summerfest. Designed by the Milwaukee firm of Rinka Chung Architecture, The Couture will bring 600 new units to the lakefront location.

J.H. Findorff & Son is the general contractor. We just checked out some of their work at Marquette University, and we stayed in the newly completed Westin Milwaukee, last month. (We also profiled the Westin’s construction back in 2016.)

Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes sent over two great overhead shots of the site from the past, when it was still the MKE Transit Center, and the site now, which is a bare concrete slab. We noticed the empty slab, and The Couture signage, back in July. Here’s hoping that tower crane will still be there during Summerfest 2018!

Wandering Milwaukee: Marquette University puts up two tower cranes

Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University

Soaring high above the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University. Photo courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

If you’re a college student in Milwaukee, you might think that headline should read “Marquette University puts up student housing.” Apparently we haven’t met. When two tower cranes appear on the same job site around these here parts, they carry the day. Along with all the heavy stuff.

But of course, student housing is important too. Marquette is building the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons to house 890 students at the site, bounded by Wisconsin Avenue, 17th, Wells, and 18th Street. We know the general contractor, J.H. Findorff & Son; during last year’s Summerfest visit, we checked out their work at the Westin Milwaukee. (It’s finished, by the way. We stayed there during Summerfest 2017.) Findorff’s task is to have the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons ready in time for Fall 2018 classes.

Design duties were split between Milwaukee’s own Workshop Architects and Baltimore-based Design Collective.

You can read the full July 2016 press release from Marquette University here, or see it in its entirety after the photo gallery.

Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University

The west tower crane sits on a separate lot, and reaches across the street.

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Even More Milwaukee: The Westin Milwaukee

The Westin Milwaukee

A tower crane shines like a beacon in the night above the Westin Milwaukee site, 550 North Van Buren Street.

Seriously, if you don’t want me snooping round your construction site, hide your tower crane. They’re a dead giveaway every time.

While in Milwaukee last month to scope out the Northwestern Mutual developments in downtown Milwaukee, I followed this tower crane to 550 North Van Buren Street, where Starwood Hotels is building the Westin Milwaukee. The nine-story, 220-room hotel was designed by Kahler Slater, and is being built by general contractor J.H. Findorff & Son.

Wedged smack dab in the middle of the US Bank complex, the Westin Milwaukee is slated to open in Summer 2017.