Some Milwaukee County supervisors want more public input on skyscraper project
Lacey Crisp reports Video by wtmj.comvideo
MILWAUKEE- A new high-rise could go up and replace the Downtown Transit Center on Michigan Street.
But some people aren't convinced it's a good idea.
The proposed high rise would be the second tallest building in the city, next only to the U.S. Bank building. But some Milwaukee County supervisors are mad, saying County Executive Chris Abele has left the county board out of the decision.
Abele beamed about the proposed 44-story tower that will house 180 hotel rooms, 179 apartments, parking and retail space.
"Use for this location is perfect," said Abele. "It will provide breath taking views of Lake Michigan and downtown. The building itself will be a breath taking view."
The project is expected to bring in 4,400 construction jobs, 200 permanent jobs.
"This will have a rippling effect, this will have a domino effect of more projects to come," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Steve Taylor.
But not all county officials are overjoyed.
"This is publicly owned property in a very very important public site. Of course, the public has to have some input," said Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik.
Supervisor Jursik is criticizing Abele for moving forward with a project that hasn't received any public approval.
According to Abele, "Here's absolutely been a process. Our responsibility to taxpayers is to always provide the best options, the most vetted options."
There were four proposals for the land.
County Executive Abele said the other three included office space, something he argues the city doesn't need more of.
"I'm not going to give the opinion that that's the highest or best use of that property," said Supervisor Jursik. "Quite frankly, I don't think that's my opinion to give. My job is to make sure the public has the process to have the input."
The Milwaukee County Board still needs to approve for the project.
Supervisor Jursik says that won't happen until at least September.