Milwaukee attracts big business to downtown, but on park land?

It was back in January that Milwaukee, WI Alderman Bob Bauman claimed that Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) was interested in building an office building on a 2.66 acre lot that is being opened as part of the Lakefront Gateway project. If there was any question as to whether Bauman was just blowing smoke, we now know the answer: JCI is interested.

According to a story by Sean Ryan and the Business Journal, the city is considering splitting the cost of doing due diligence on the site, located south of E. Clybourn St. and west of N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., with JCI. The city would provide a $250,000 grant through an existing Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) district. Fraser Engerman, JCI director of global media relations, told Ryan, “The study will examine the feasibility of the site for a building.

The study is needed due to a lawsuit involving Preserve Our Parks which will determine if the land can be developed. And this in turn meant that city had to help fund the study. “Who wants to spend a half a million on site engineering only to have a court declare it unbuildable?” Bauman said.

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