Downtown Milwaukee to get first new office building in 10 years

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- City leaders celebrated on Friday, September 20th, as workers poured concrete on the site of something downtown Milwaukee hasn't seen in more than a decade -- a new office building.

Developer Tom Gehl, with Blue Ribbon Management, says he has no doubt the brand new office building next to The Brewery will be a huge success.

"When you see the beautiful design and the statement it'll make in Milwaukee, we have total confidence in the project," said Gehl.

Milwaukee has plenty riding on the project as the city has invested around $27 million for site preparation, demolition, and state-of-the-art environmental design and improvements. Leaders, however, are thanking Chinese investors whom they say are funding the majority of the project.

"This is under a program called the 'Investor VISA Program' where foreign nationals invest capital and create jobs and then have a special VISA category," explained Gehl.

Both the developer and city leaders are hoping the five-star office complex will rejuvenate the area around what used to be home to the Pabst Brewing Company.

"The one constant for cities, that we are always changing. Cities are always changing and recreating themselves and that's what we are witnessing today," said Mayor Tom Barrett.

Currently no tenants have signed a lease for the building, but supporters of the project expect that to change soon.

"We've got several very interested groups so we're still working through the process on which would be the best fit for our particular use here," said Gehl.

The building is scheduled to open on July 1st, 2014, although officials say it should be ready for a limited open house by the beginning of June.

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