Couture: Ground broken for Milwaukee high-rise

Ground was broken Wednesday, May 5 for the long-awaited Couture building in downtown Milwaukee after a $104.7 million loan was secured.

Construction work on the 44-story building began Wednesday with below-grade improvements. Vertical construction on the project is expected to begin in early 2022, with completion anticipated by Fall 2023.

It will provide an estimated 4,400 construction jobs, and once completed, an estimated 200 permanent jobs.

"Right now, the heart of the city of Milwaukee is on a very positive trajectory," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Rendering of Couture project on Milwaukee's lakefront

Rendering of Couture project on Milwaukee's lakefront

Mayor Barrett said the project had its challenges.

"I give a lot of credit to the team that is developing the Couture because they stuck with it," said Mayor Barrett.

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

The Couture is designed as a key thoroughfare connecting Milwaukee’s lakefront and cultural amenities with downtown, according to a release. The project includes public plazas and parks, pedestrian bridges and a new lakefront stop for the streetcar. The Couture will replace an underused transit center with a true multimodal transit hub for the Milwaukee community.

Another project in the works: Milwaukee Tool corporate operations are expanding.

Rendering of Couture project on Milwaukee's lakefront

"I think you’re going to start to see a lot more daytime population here in downtown and the western part of downtown, and Milwaukee Tool just adds to that," said Jim Paetsch, Milwaukee 7 VP.

The Common Council approved a $20 million grant Tuesday. In a press release, the company said more than $30 million will be invested into the building where a little over 1,200 employees will work within the next three years. 

"This will be the largest influx of jobs to the city of Milwaukee from the suburbs in the city’s history," said Paetsch.

Paetsch added the city is not only unique, it's keeping up with the type of development people want. 

"Whether it’s sports, whether it’s the arts, whether it’s recreation of things to do museums, we have all of that," he said.

City approves $20M Milwaukee Tool grant for downtown corporate office

The Milwaukee Common Council approved on Tuesday, May 4 a $20 million grant to a suburban-headquartered tool company to expand its corporate operations in the downtown core.

Tourism spending in Wisconsin takes a 30% hit due to coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic caused a 30% decline in direct spending by tourists in Wisconsin in 2020, but officials are optimistic the industry will rebound this year.