Built in 1992, many see the Downtown Transit Center as a waste of valuable downtown property near the lakefront. The Long-Range Lakefront Planning Committee last year recommended that the bus transit operations be moved to another site so that the lakefront site could be sold for a private development. The Downtown Milwaukee Master Plan, completed in 2010, also recommends redevelopment of the Downtown Transit Center site.
The Downtown Transit Center is located southeast of Michigan Street and Lincoln Memorial Drive and is next to the U.S. Bank Center annex parking garage. Wauwatosa-based Irgens Development Partners LLC is in discussions with U.S. Bank about developing an office building at the site of the annex parking garage, located southeast of the U.S. Bank Center at 777 E. Wisconsin Ave. If built the office building there would likely be anchored by the Godfrey & Kahn law firm.
U.S. Bank is also talking to other developers about the annex parking garage site, said U.S. Bank vice president Joe Ullrich. Discussions about the site have not included plans for the adjacent Milwaukee County Downtown Transit Center, he said.
The Downtown Transit Center site covers 2.2 acres and comprises a two-story bus waiting station and bus marshaling structure. Since the building’s construction 20 years ago bus route modification and restructuring has resulted in fewer busses using the facility than was originally designed.
The county is in the process of analyzing a variety of options to determine if the Downtown Transit Center operations should be relocated to another site.
Responses to the RFI are due on April 30.