Yesterday–with help from Gov. Walker, Mayor Barrett and County Executive Abele and other dignitaries– the Water Council launched the renovation of the Water Council Building at 223 W. Pittsburgh in the city’s Historic Walker’s Point neighborhood. The event featured several speakers including Governor Scott Walker, with over 100 people in attendance.
The new building will house water-related research activities for universities, existing water-related companies, the Water Council, and companies promoting business development and accelerator space for new, emerging water-related companies.
The building is a 98,000 square foot, seven-story warehouse loft built in 1906. It is adjacent to the Reed Street Yards, which the City of Milwaukee has designated as a water technology research park. The building’s redevelopment is considered a catalytic project for the Reed Street Yards Tax Incremental District, setting the stage for the City of Milwaukee to move forward with the infrastructure improvements to establish the water technology research park—and the Milwaukee region—as a global showcase for water management.
The new water research and business accelerator building is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States and one of only a handful in the world. Initial tenants will include A.O. Smith, Badger Meter, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Grundfos Pumps, Hanging Gardens, the International Water Association, the Water Council, Pave Drain, Sloan Valve, UW – Whitewater, UW – Milwaukee, Veolia Water North America, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Xela Innovations, LLC.
A portion of the project will be financed through a combination of New Market Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credits. The project is being supported by the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation. In addition to garnering the support of local business and government officials, the project has also received funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to assist in underwriting leasing arrangements for start-up water technology businesses. Additional investments and contributions have come from A.O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, First Pathway Partners, Impact Seven, CD Smith Construction, KBS Construction, Klein Family, Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, Sloan Valve, US Bank Community Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.
The building is owned by Water Accelerator LLC and is being developed by HKS Holdings, LLC. Kahler Slater has been selected as the architect for the building. CD Smith Construction and KBS Construction are the general contractors.