MU expanding property holdings, acquiring vacant buildings east of I-43

These+photos+%28circa+1950s%29+show+the+6th+St.+building%2C+built+in+1958%2C+with+the+hotel+in+the+background.+Photos+courtesy+of+the+Wisconsin+Historical+Society.
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MU expanding property holdings, acquiring vacant buildings east of I-43

These photos (circa 1950s) show the 6th St. building, built in 1958, with the hotel in the background. Photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

These photos (circa 1950s) show the 6th St. building, built in 1958, with the hotel in the background. Photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

These photos (circa 1950s) show the 6th St. building, built in 1958, with the hotel in the background. Photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

These photos (circa 1950s) show the 6th St. building, built in 1958, with the hotel in the background. Photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

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Until mid-September, the City Center Hotel was open for business. The hotel, located at 633 W. Michigan St., had been leasing the property from Marquette University since the university purchased the property in 2015.

A statement provided by university spokesperson Chris Jenkins said Marquette has enjoyed a cordial owner-tenant relationship with the manager of the hotel since the university purchased the property.

Entities controlled by Marquette University purchased the property the hotel sits on, along with other surrounding property, spanning a city block on the western corner of W. Michigan and N. 6th Streets in 2015, according to records from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and City of Milwaukee property records.

Graphic by Clara Janzen

The other building on the block is 525 N. 6th St., which was once used as an office building by Honeywell Corporation, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Currently, the only Marquette facility in operation east of Interstate 43 is Straz Tower, located at Wisconsin Avenue and 11th Street.

This block is adjacent to an area already owned by the university, which was at one point the planned location for the Athletic and Human Performance Research Facility. That facility is now being built on 12th and Wells Streets.

The 6th Street building already had a Marquette sign added to its exterior and workers can be seen on site along with a newly added dumpster.

The university statement reads, “Marquette will secure the facility (City Center Hotel) and work on a to-be-determined timeline for demolition, as well as short and long-term plans for the 1.8 acre parcel, which abuts an additional 10 acres of developable land the university owns.”

The university declined to comment on specific future plans and no information on the purchased sites is given online at the Campus Master Plan website, although the properties are included on the master plan campus maps.

Marquette purchased the property though a separate LLC, which is common for universities and other large organizations, Andrew Hunt, director of the College of Business Administration’s Real Estate Center, said.

“It helps reduce some of the liability concerns,” Hunt said.

“It’s going to be exciting whatever (Marquette decides) to put there. … You could put something, especially if you went up vertically on this site, it would be very, very visible through the couple hundred thousand cars that go through this interchange every day,” Hunt said.

Hunt said he thinks the university is unsure of what it is going to put on the sites because it is a very visible location with a lot of potential.

“You think about how visible the Milwaukee Public Market sign is — just imagine what kind of a statement you could make at this corner,” Hunt said.

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