State Awards $1.4 Million in Brownfield Grants to Help Spur Milwaukee Redevelopment Projects

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation grants will assist with former Pabst, Schlitz brewery redevelopments and two other projects

MADISON, WI. May 7, 2014 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced today that it has awarded nearly $1.4 million in brownfield grants to four major redevelopment projects in the City of Milwaukee.

WEDC’s Brownfield Grant Program provides funding to assist local governments, businesses and individuals with assessing and remediating the environmental contamination of an abandoned, idle or underused industrial or commercial facility or site.

The grants awarded are:

  • 833 Development Partners, an affiliate of Irgens Partners LLC, will receive a $495,213 grant as the company plans to redevelop a 1-acre contaminated property at 815 E. Michigan St. The company plans to spend $6.3 million to abate, demolish and remediate an existing structure near Milwaukee’s lakefront. Construction of a 17-story, 358,000-square-foot $105 million office building, called 833 East, is expected to begin on the site in May. The project is part of the Milwaukee Lakefront Development Plan.
  • Blue Ribbon Management LLC has been awarded a $153,000 grant to help pay for environmental remediation activities related to the construction of an office building on a contaminated vacant parcel in the former Pabst Brewing Co. site on Juneau Avenue. The five-story, 73,100-square-foot Pabst Professional Center has a $10 million to $12 million price tag, and is expected to be completed in June.
  • The Brewery Works Inc., the developer of Schlitz Park, has received a $500,000 grant for remediation and demolition costs related to the latest renovation at the former Schlitz Brewing site on West Galena Street. The $22 million project includes removal of contaminated soils, demolition of the obsolete Schlitz Brewhouse, and the redevelopment of Schlitz Park’s Executive Building. The Executive Building will be the new headquarters for UMB Fund Services Inc., which is leasing 88,000 square feet there. The company has about 250 employees.
  • Complete Warehouse and Distribution LLC has been awarded $238,700 for remediation, monitoring and demolition costs associated with the redevelopment of the former Super Steel property at 7100 W. Calumet Road. The 28-acre parcel, which was once a metal fabrication facility, has been vacant since 2011. Complete Warehouse plans to clean up the environmental contamination at the site, redevelop the manufacturing facility and lease it to tenants.

    Complete Warehouse also is receiving a Wisconsin Assessment Monies award under the Department of Natural Resources’ Brownfields Program. The DNR award will fully fund site investigation services to determine the extent of contamination in nearby groundwater and soil. Such investigations typically cost between $25,000 and $45,000.

Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, said the Brownfield Grant Program is just one element of the organization’s overall strategy to help boost economic development in the City of Milwaukee. Since July 2013, WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization, has provided more than $20 million tax credits, grants, loans and other awards to Milwaukee businesses and organizations.

WEDC is a key partner in the Global Water Center, a $22 million project that has helped revitalize the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. In December, WEDC awarded the city of Milwaukee a $1 million grant to help fund the Century City redevelopment project at the former Tower Automotive site on West Hopkins Street.

“There is no question that Milwaukee’s continued success is key to the state’s overall economic health,” Hall said. “The city has always been and will remain the economic hub of Wisconsin, and WEDC is committed to working with local officials and business leaders to ensure that the city continues to move forward.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett added: “Investments in brownfield remediation in Milwaukee pay dividends in a number of ways. They help create jobs. They turn underutilized land into more valuable property. And they reduce developers’ uncertainty about building on particular urban sites. I appreciate WEDC’s Brownfield Grant Program, and I am grateful for the investments here in Milwaukee.”

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation and international business development. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter  @_InWisconsin to learn more.