MSOE has a contract to purchase the former Staybridge Suites building at 1150 N. Water St. (corner of Juneau Ave. and Water St.). An anonymous donor has made this opportunity possible.
The university will use the building for an apartment-style residence for upperclassmen, graduate students and faculty who wish to live on campus, as well as campus visitors. There will be approximately 150 units, ranging from studio apartments to 1- and 2-bedroom units. The ground floor of the building will remain as retail space, generating tax revenue for the city.
“Due to financial turbulence, the building has been unfinished and thus vacant for a number of years, and has become an eyesore in downtown Milwaukee,” said Dr. Hermann Viets, MSOE president. “No other developer has stepped forward with a feasible plan for this space. Limitations with the size and parking make it difficult to develop as office space, condominiums or a hotel, but it is perfect for our growing university community. Our enrollment numbers have been rising the past few years and we are on track to keep growing.”
“We want to continue adding life to downtown Milwaukee. Our parking complex/athletic field will be completed later this summer, giving our students and visitors a place to park while they enjoy everything happening in our neighborhood,” said Viets. “This new residence will be an attractive option for upperclassmen who wish to remain downtown. It will also attract graduate students, and faculty to the area. The building and its residents will be a great asset to the city.”
MSOE’s offer goes before the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee on June 13.
Once the purchase is approved, the university expects it will take 12 months to finish construction on several lower floors so students can begin moving in.
MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,500 students. MSOE offers 20 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 94% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.