The Couture, 44-story skyscraper and transit plaza, to begin construction in January

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- The Couture Milwaukee has secured financing for its $188 million-dollar project. Officials announced Monday, Nov. 23 that construction will begin January 2021.

The Couture is a 44-story mixed-use skyscraper that blends public spaces, retail, and apartment homes. The high-rise was proposed by Barrett | Lo Visionary Development.

Barrett | Lo Visionary Development has received commitment from the U.S. Department of Housing and urban Development HUD) loan guaranty program. Officials say this is the final financing requirement for the project to proceed to construction.

The Couture is 700,000 square feet and will be built on County land along Milwaukee's lakefront.  It is part of the Lakefront Gateway Project. The project includes public plazas and parks, pedestrian bridges, and a new lakefront stop for The Hop, according to officials. It will also include a concourse for the Milwaukee County Bus Rapid Transit line, which will link downtown to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa. 

View from N Lincoln Memorial Drive and E Michigan St

Night view from N Lincoln Memorial Drive and E Clybourn St

Downtown aerial view from Lake Michigan

View from the southeast of the 2- story retail space and third floor restaurant

View of the transit concourse connecting from Michigan St to E Clybourn St with The Hop and MCTS services

View of the 2nd floor concourse connecting to the footbridge across Lincoln Memorial Drive

View of the ground level transit concourse from the 2nd floor concourse showing the large format LED screen

Aerial View of the 3rd floor public park

Aerial View of the 3rd floor outdoor dining terrace / public park and 4th floor apartment amenity terrace

View of the 1st floor apartment entrance lobby from E Michigan St

View of the 4th floor community room with outdoor terrace and pool

“HUD’s Firm Commitment marks the final financial commitment required for us to begin construction on The Couture,” Rick Barrett said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be working with the City, County and HUD on this catalytic development that will transform this vacant site into a dynamic public space that improves access to the lakefront, creates thousands of new jobs and adds a signature building to Milwaukee’s skyline.”

Officials say 25% of the total building and 97% of the ground level will be for public use. 

In addition, The Couture will employ County residents for 40% of the work on the project and contracting with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for at least 25% of the project, according to a news release.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said this is a great step forward for the project.

“The Couture is a beautiful addition at an exceptional location," Barrett said. "The project will create construction jobs for city residents and work for emerging businesses; and it will add a transportation link that connects more people to the lakefront. The center of our city will be stronger with the Couture, and that is beneficial to everyone in Milwaukee.”

County Executive David Crowley said The Couture will become a national model for transit-oriented development. 

“Transforming an underutilized County property into a catalytic development that connects our community in innovative ways, bridges downtown to the lakefront and brings thousands of new construction jobs to our community at a time when they are needed more than ever,” Crowley said.

For more information on The Couture, click here

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