Couture construction, Milwaukee high-rise taking shape

Milwaukee's skyline will change in a big way this year when all 44 stories are completed on The Couture high-rise near the Summerfest grounds.

For the first time in 50 years, crews are building a skyscraper that will top 40 stories. FOX6 News got a behind-the-scenes look at the work Thursday, March 9.

"It lets people know that Milwaukee is growing," said real estate developer Rick Barrett of Barrett Lo Visionary Development.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

Barrett said the 44 floors will make The Couture the tallest residential tower in Wisconsin

"As a Milwaukee native, I’m proud to say we’ve got a skyscraper coming quickly," Barrett said. 

Construction on Milwaukee's Couture high-rise

Construction started in May 2021 over an old transit center. A plaza-like area will lead right into the lobby. It will include businesses, a proposed streetcar stop and more than 300 luxury apartments. 

"It’s going to be awesome. It’s really going to be awesome. You’re going to be able to see the whole city," said Eric Sadler, Findorff construction senior project manager. "I think it’s going to be amazing, to see all the way down to Cudahy."

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android.

The center core structure is currently a quarter of the way up – 11 floors, while the residential structure around the core goes up to the fifth floor. Crews plan to add one floor roughly every four days. 

This project is going up, after years of stops and starts.

"Good things take time, and extraordinary things take even longer," Barrett said. "This project was difficult. It’s very complicated."

Construction on Milwaukee's Couture high-rise

It is also expensive. The developer said it will cost more than $190 million.

"I hope people look at Milwaukee and say, 'Milwaukee is on the upswing.’" Barrett said. "I want people to view Milwaukee and say, ‘You know, it’d be a great place to live on the lake.’"

Prospective renters interested in touring the luxury apartments will have to wait. Barrett said he hopes tours will start this fall. Sadler says he expects to have the 44 stories completed in November.