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Michels to Develop ‘Transformative’ $100M Mixed-Use Project Along Milwaukee’s Riverfront

River 1 will be situated at the corner of Becher and 1st streets in Milwaukee. The project will be bordered on two sides by a bend in the Kinnickinnic River.

MILWAUKEE — Michels Corp., a utility and civil engineering firm based in Wisconsin, is planning to develop a $100 million mixed-use project on six acres of riverfront property in Milwaukee’s Harbor District.

Dubbed RIVER 1, the development will include about 220,000 square feet of office space, 19,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 67 multifamily residences, a 103-room hotel, 1,000 underground parking spaces and riverwalk space.

“What the Michels Family proposes on the banks of the Kinnickinnic River adds economic activity, public access to the water and a transformative new investment in the Harbor District,” says Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The project is situated at the corner of Becher and 1st streets and is bordered on two sides by a bend in the Kinnickinnic River. The site serves as the gateway into the Walker’s Point and Bay View neighborhoods and was the former home of Horny Goat Brew Pub, according to local media outlets.

River 1 will include a restaurant fronting the Kinnickinnic River.

Michels will anchor an eight-story office building as part of the project’s first phase. Slated to break ground this fall, Phase I will also include buildings fronting 1st Street that will feature apartments, retail and a 103-room hotel.

The first phase will also include a restaurant on the river, covered parking and more than 1,000 feet of publicly accessible riverwalk. The City of Milwaukee will maintain the riverwalk and assist in the environmental remediation of the publicly accessible portions of the site.

Michels expects to deliver Phase I in summer 2020. Additional phases may include two more office buildings, according to Michels.

The project team, all situated locally, includes Rinka Chung Architecture, WiRED Properties, Barry Co. and Nation Consulting.

Situated on six acres in Milwaukee’s Harbor District, the site serves as the gateway into the city’s Walker’s Point and Bay View neighborhoods.

“The Michels Family is proud to make this historic investment to continue to grow Wisconsin and Milwaukee,” says Tim Michels, vice president of Michels Corp.

No financial details about the River 1 project were disclosed.

Michels Corp. was founded in 1959 as a gas pipeline contractor for Wisconsin utility providers. Today the Browsville, Wis.-based infrastructure and transportation contractor has more than 35 offices and employs about 6,000 people. The company has several projects in its development pipeline, including bridges, substations, dams, highways, parking garages, wind farms and commercial real estate projects.

— John Nelson

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