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Proposed: New, modern state office building could be built in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- After a half century, it is time to go. Governor Scott Walker announced on Friday, Feb. 9 plans for a newly located state building in Milwaukee. The governor wants the state offices to move out of the current building at 6th and Wells. A state lawmaker is also eyeing an opportunity to include the county in the plan.

Gov. Scott Walker

"This is probably not the best use of this land right here to have a state office building," said Gov. Walker.

The footprint and economic development in downtown Milwaukee is growing. Selling off the state office building across from the Wisconsin Center would free up some prime real estate.

"It would have a dynamic impact on economic development," the governor said.

On Friday, Gov. Walker announced the request for proposals for land to house a new, modern state office building. The perimeter for offers is anywhere between Mitchell St. and Hampton Ave. -- and between the near side of downtown and the stadium freeway up to the northwest.

"This would allow us to consolidate other leased sites in one location," Gov. Walker said.

Five other sites are currently being leased. Walker said benefits also include decreased maintenance and energy costs -- by moving from the 50-year-old building.

"The assessment is that we can save $1.2 million a year," Gov Walker said.

State Rep. David Bowen

State Representative and former Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen sees the plan as an opportunity for the county -- and old the governor so.

"I mentioned it to the governor and he's up to the concept," Bowen said.

Bowen's idea is to close the deteriorating county Safety Building and move county services to the future state building -- making it a joint venture.

Milwaukee County Safety Building

"So I am going to encourage members of the county, the executive branch, County Executive Abele and the county board to make sure that they submit a proposal in the next 30 days," Bowen said.

The state will seek proposals for acquiring land between now and March 9 -- and select a site by May 28. Then the project would have to get fit into the next state budget to be built at an estimated cost of $50 million.

CLICK HERE to submit a proposal for this project.