Milwaukee Public Library is replacing four branch libraries with new library facilities that will be part of mixed-use projects.
The libraries to be replaced are:
The four new facilities will help the city continue to improve library service and save ongoing operating costs, while anchoring catalytic community development projects for each of the neighborhoods and business districts in which the projects are located.
Milwaukee Public Library has replaced two branch libraries in the last three years:
The Villard Square Branch opened in 2011.
The East Branch opened in 2014.
Mayor Tom Barrett, the Common Council and the Library Board of Trustees have dedicated $18 million to the redevelopment project. The library will spend about $4.5 million for each new library facility within four mixed-use developments. Read more about the project in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's story.
The City of Milwaukee acting through the Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library (Board) sought proposals from qualified firms for the development of two new Milwaukee Public Library facilities replacing the Forest Home and Mill Road libraries.
The Milwaukee Public Library held two community meetings, February 26 and March 4, regarding the potential development of a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development at 7717 W. Good Hope Road. A new, upgraded 15,000 square foot library would occupy the first floor of the new building. This new library would replace the Mill Road branch.
Several questions were raised at the two meetings. View the summary of those questions with answers provided by MPL and the potential development team of Maures Development/Common Bond Communities.
Motion was made and adopted to express interest in the proposed concept presented by Maures Development/Common Bond/Engberg Anderson developer team for the redevelopment of Mill Road library at 7717 W. Good Hope Rd. Before a final decision is made The Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library directed staff to:
- Seek more input about the suggested second use through community meetings hosted by local Aldermen;
- Ensure that the city-owned parcel (7717 W. Good Hope Rd.) is viable for both a library and housing as a second use.
- Review the results of a developer's market study and environmental study for the feasibility of both affordable housing and market rate housing on the site, and review the 2008 Department of City Development Northwest Side Area Plan.
- Meet with local Aldermen and report to the Board on the findings.
Proposals presented at Tues., December 9 meeting:
The Milwaukee Public Library's Board of Trustees selected architectural firm HGA to design the new Forest Home library on March 24, 2015. [news release]
Motion was made and adopted to select Gorman & Co./Mitchell Investment Properties/VJS Construction to redevelop the Forest Home library at the Hill Building located at 930 W. Mitchell St.
The Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library provided input on the selection. The Gorman project:
Has now clearly defined the second use for the development with market rate housing, which is complimentary to a library and a catalytic project for the area.
Is proposed for a location (930 W. Mitchell St.) that is central to the service area, in a prominent business district and allows for parking when using the facility
The project can move expeditiously and be completed within a short time frame. The library and apartments can be developed simultaneously; and,
The developer has a secure funding strategy and will pursue Historic Tax Credits for the entire project.
“… We approved Gorman & Co’s. proposal to replace the Forest Home branch with a new library on the first floor of the Hill Building and market-rate apartments above. Simply put, there’s a lot to like about the project. The Hill Building has great bones, and it’s on the National Register, with ample dedicated parking and a prominent location on Mitchell Street, the South Side’s downtown since the late 1800s. The building is also literally across the street from one of the largest parochial grade schools (St. Anthony’s) in the country, and the use of historic preservation tax credits will enable us to get more library for our money. When you put it all together, this is going to be a genuinely catalytic project that will bring Third Ward-caliber energy to the heart of the South Side.”
- John Gurda, President of The Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees
Proposals presented at the Tues., Dec. 2 meeting: