Dropped Lawsuit Clears Way for Proposed Milwaukee High Rise
A preservation group indicated it is has withdrawn a lawsuit seeking to block construction of a 44-story apartment building on Milwaukee's lakefront, paving the way for construction of $122-million Couture, a project under development for years.
Milwaukee-based Preserve Our Parks will no longer appeal a decision by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Christopher Foley that allowed Couture developer Rick Barrett to construct the project at the site of a lakeside transit center. Preserve Our Parks contended that because the center was constructed atop a lake bed, the parcel was protected from private development. In June, Foley ruled that a state law locating the lake bed boundary east of the center was valid.
Despite dropping the suit, “We will continue to oppose any private development of public park lands or any further privatization of Milwaukee's lakefront,” Preserve Our Parks president John Lunz indicated in a statement.
Barrett also issued a statement indicating “We are pleased that Preserve Our Parks will not appeal appeal the court decision that re-confirmed the historic line for the lakefront used by the city, county and state for more than a century. This was the critical step we needed to secure clear title to the Downtown Transit Center site.”
Barrett told reporters he hoped purchase the property from Milwaukee County in time to complete demolition of the center by summer 2016. He also indicated it would take nearly three years to construct the Couture.
If built, the facility would house about 300 apartments, in addition to 50,000 square feet of retail space, parking and transit connections.