IMG_27521.JPG.jpgMilwaukee School of Engineering has received final approval to move forward with its plan to obtain ownership of the building at the corner of Juneau Avenue and Water Street (1150 N. Water St.) in downtown Milwaukee. The final approval came Oct. 15 when the City of Milwaukee Common Council approved changing the zoning to “Detailed Planned Development” for the property, which allows MSOE to acquire and convert the building to a student residence tower.

An anonymous donor has made this opportunity possible for the university. The building was originally intended to be a hotel, but financial problems plagued the project and construction was halted. Once the purchase is completed, MSOE will begin construction work. Project planners are hopeful that the tower will be ready for students in Fall 2014. The architect for the project is Uihlein-Wilson Architects.

MSOE will use the building as a residence for upperclassmen, graduate students and faculty who wish to live on campus. 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. The second and third floors of the building will be used for resident parking with 62 spaces.

“We are pleased with the Common Council’s decision to support our plan to improve a downtown eyesore. MSOE is committed to adding life to downtown Milwaukee, as evidenced by recent campus developments including our parking complex/athletic field, the Grohmann Museum and the Kern Center,” said MSOE President Hermann Viets, Ph.D. “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 is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,500 students celebrating its 110th anniversary. 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.