Thursday, September 28, 2006

Proposal for Park East wins county board support

The Business Journal of Milwaukee - 2:51 PM CDT Thursday

Ruvin Development of Mequon and its co-developer Gatehouse Capital of Dallas won approval from the Milwaukee County Board Thursday to build a hotel, condos, offices, shops and a parking structure on a key parcel in Milwaukee's downtown Park East corridor.

Milwaukee County supervisors chose the Ruvin proposal over a competing plan from Rana Enterprises of Milwaukee for a hotel, offices, retail, parking and a gas station. Rana is a convenience store owner and developer.

The county board approved a resolution to sell the 73,000-square-foot property along West Juneau Ave. between North Third and Fourth streets to Ruvin and Gatehouse Capital for slightly more than $2.9 million.

Ruvin also owns the Sidney Hih complex on the corner of Juneau and Third and the former Gipfel Union Brewery building at 423 W. Juneau, which will be moved to a spot just west of Sidney Hih.

Sidney Hih will be incorporated into the new construction, which Ruvin principal Rob Ruvin estimates at $104 million. It will include 70 condos, a 175-room hotel, 55,000 square feet of offices, 31,000 square feet of retail, and a 330-car parking garage.

The county board resolution gives Ruvin nine months to exercise its option on the property, Ruvin said. He said the next step is to arrange financing -- a combination of debt and equity -- and he anticipates construction starting within one year. The project will be complete 18 to 24 months after construction starts, he said.

"We're very excited," Ruvin said of the county board vote.

He said his group had begun marketing the property to real estate brokers, who are expressing interest in the retail and residential elements of the project. He said the downtown hotel market is strong, and he and Gatehouse expect to disclose the hotel's flag in the near future.

Gatehouse has developed similar projects in Los Angeles, Dallas and San Diego.

COUNTY SUPERVISOR DIMITRIJEVIC upcoming listening sessions

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

U.S. Senator Herb Kohl Invites You to A Milwaukee Campaign Rally!!!

Followed by a volunteer canvass
to Get Out The Vote in November

With Special Guests:

Governor Jim Doyle


Attorney General Candidate Kathleen Falk

Saturday, September 30, 2006

American Serb Hall

5101 W. Oklahoma Ave
Milwaukee, WI

10:00 AM
****Please Join Us!!!****



Columbia St. Mary's donates money to public health causes

The Business Journal of Milwaukee - 3:04 PM CDT Tuesday
by Ben Fischer

Columbia St. Mary's Inc. will give $500,000 to two city of Milwaukee public health programs, Mayor Tom Barrett announced Tuesday.

The health system, which operates hospitals on the East Side and Mequon, agreed to give the money as a charitable donation after it rebuffed talk of a payment in lieu of property taxes, Barrett said.

The one-time donation will include $320,000 toward cutting high infant-mortality rates in parts of MIlwaukee, including parts of the Riverwest neighborhood and the near south side.

That money will fund four new full-time health workers who will work with expectant mothers to improve babies' chances of surviving.

Also, $180,000 will go toward an analysis of racial disparities in health care, Barrett said.

Half of the money is coming from Ascension Health, St. Louis, the parent company of Columbia St. Mary's, according to CEO Leo Brideau.

Barrett has been asking non-profit organizations in the city, such as Columbia St. Mary's, to voluntarily donate to city coffers instead of paying property taxes, which they are excused from paying by federal law.

"We said we're not going to do it," Brideau said of Barrett's idea. "For a whole pile of reasons. It's a precedent we don't want to set. We don't think it's appropriate. On the other hand, we are in the city; we provide health care in the city, and we've got a responsibility to work with the populations we serve."

The money is a one-time donation, although Brideau said the system intends to continue giving annually if the programs are proving worthwhile.

Milwaukee signs wireless network contract

The Business Journal of Milwaukee - 2:54 PM CDT Wednesday
by Rachel McCormick-Jennings

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett signed a contract with Midwest Fiber Networks Wednesday, allowing the company to finally begin its build-out of a citywide wireless Internet network.

The Milwaukee firm will begin building a test area in the Marquette University area Oct. 2. The build-out is expected to be completed by Jan. 18, 2007, said Donna Raffaelli-Meyer, a principal with Midwest Fiber.

It has taken over eight months for city officials and Midwest Fiber executives to finalize a contract. Raffaelli-Meyer said the contract required more research and information than all parties involved anticipated because it was the first one the city negotiated.

In recent weeks, Milwaukee aldermen have criticized Midwest Fiber for the length of time it has taken to get an agreement in place.

Under the agreement, Midwest will build out the entire network within the next 18 months. It is estimated that it will cost Midwest Fiber $20 million to build the network, but no tax dollars will be use to fund the project.

Midwest has the exclusive right to build the wireless network on city property, but when they are completed, other vendors may build their own wireless network, Barrett said.

"It's always been my goal to make this work with Midwest Fiber," Barrett said. "They're a local company, the decisions are made locally, and they were the first to step up to the plate with no costs to taxpayers."

Midwest Fiber will announce which firm will provide the Internet service over the next several weeks, Raffaelli-Meyer said.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Although there have been a small number of local upscale, high quality grocers in town before, we're very excited by the fact that Milwaukee will finally be getting a Whole Foods Market.
It opens Wednesday, September 20, at the corner of North and Prospect Avenues.
We have had the privilege of shopping at three of their locations in Chicago, (Madison also is home to a WFM), and find them to be the grocer of choice, with an incredible selection of healthy items, and an impressive selection of convenience offerings. There hot food bars are great!
Roundy's has made a great effort to appeal to upscale shoppers, with their Metro Market, but much of what they offer, I had seen previously at Whole Foods. It's great that we will finally be able to choose!

Whole Foods Market Milwaukee features:

* Beer & Brat Station
* Taqueria
* Rotisserie Chicken
* Brick oven pizza
* Coffee & Tea Bar
* Made-to-order Sushi Bar
* Made-to-order Paninis
* Gelato Bar
* Made-to-order Tortilla Station
* Large, abundant produce
* All-natural meats
* All-natural seafood
* Chocolate Enrobing Fountain
* Free Wireless internet in the lounge

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Save the Internet: Click here