harbor

Provided by Komatsu

The state of Wisconsin and City of Milwaukee are promising more than $60 million in financial incentives to help the Komatsu Mining Corporation move from West Milwaukee to land along Miwaukee’s inner harbor.

Komatsu, which took over the former Joy Global and P&H plant in West Milwaukee about two years ago, says its $285 million South Harbor Campus will include new offices, manufacturing and training facilities, a company museum and store, and a public RiverWalk along the Kinnickinnic River.

milwaukee-fish-hotel-river-river
Lindsay Frost

If you were a fish, you probably wouldn’t choose the harbor — where Milwaukee’s three rivers converge — as a favorite hangout.

After all, its primary function has been commercial since the 1800s. Its edges are lined with steel piling and the bottom is dredged to maintain a depth of 25 feet, allowing safe passage of large vessels conveying cement, salt and such.

Harbor District, IInc.

You might know about a small park within Milwaukee's harbor on Jones Island called KaszubeHarbor View Plaza will become the first greenspace since the inception of Harbor District, Inc. Construction is expected to begin this fall.

The public park will be located at the end of Greenfield Avenue. This area just south of the Milwaukee's Third Ward has felt forbidding for years.

Susan Bence

Update:

The EPA awarded the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee a $3 million grant to help restore the Grand Trunk wetland in the city's Harbor District.

"Milwaukee's landscape has changed significantly over the past 200 years, and the wetland marshes that dominated the center of the City have all but vanished," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a news release Tuesday. "This restoration work will reestablish a small portion of that wetland."

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Many people have not ventured into the harbor district, just south of downtown in the Walker's Point neighborhood.  The City of Milwaukee wants to change that. 

UWM’S School of Freshwater Sciences’ expanded facility where Greenfield Ave. meets the harbor was a first step.  Next came Freshwater Plaza at 1st and Greenfield with apartments and a grocery store. Now artist Nova Czarnecki’s mural is transforming the face of the old railroad bridge between the two.

Harbor District Inc. commissioned the project.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

A collection of artistically decorated pontoons, some carrying artfully adorned people and puppets, will launch  tomorrow (Saturday) from the Bruce Street Ramp. They will converge with boats and paddlers for the inaugural Milwaukee Boat Parade. It is part of another first-ever event, Harbor Fest.

CITY AS LIVING LABORATORY

The City of Milwaukee is putting the finishing touches on a water and land use plan to help guide the future of the harbor’s 1,000 water-edged acres. The idea is to combine a robust working function while also breathing vitality into areas where there currently is none.

Lots of ideas are floating around.

Enter a New-York based artist by the name of Mary Miss. She uses the environment in unexpected and artful ways to draw people to outdoor spaces.

Harbor District, Inc

Planners believe the Milwaukee Harbor District's 1,000 watery acres are oozing with potential. Its revitalization tops the city’s sustainability plan.

An organization called Harbor District, Inc was created to encourage the input of “big idea” types who articulate blending everything from environmental cleanup with economic development.

Courtesy of Tetra Tech EM Inc.

Update:

A bankruptcy judge Tuesday approved the sale of the former Milwaukee Solvay Coke & Gas Company site to Wisconsin Gas LLC, a We Energies affiliate. It was the only bidder, offering $4 million for the 47-acre parcel.

We Energies is among several businesses that are responsible for the site's environmental cleanup. The utility used to operate a gas works there years ago.

Before previous owner Golden Marina filed for bankruptcy, it had hoped to create housing and a marina there.

Quorum Architects and Ayres Associates

Update: 

Quorum Architects - Ayres Associates has been named winner of Harbor District, Inc.'s Take Me to the River Design Competition.

According to the selection committee, Quorum's Slosh Park project was selected for its "elements that would make for an interesting and engaging space" as well as for "most effectively balanc[ing] several [of the project's] goals."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for breakwaters around the country, including the Great Lakes.  

The structures calm the waters within them to allow ships and smaller vessels to navigate safely, but take quite a beating, given shifting lake levels and seasonal storms.   

The usual "fix" is to install big boulders, 6 to 10-feet in size, to reinforce failing stretches of breakwater.

S Bence

Milwaukee's harbor district appears to be a jumbled mix of old industrial buildings, ship docks, railroad tracks and a sewage treatment plant. But the City is brewing up a plan to transform the 1,000 water-edged acres.

Today, you see glimmers of transformation. An apartment building rising at 1st and Washington. Freshwater Plaza popping up, complete with grocery store and office space.

S Bence

Milwaukee’s Harbor District is only a short walk from the trendy Third Ward, but it might as well be in a different state. But momentum is building to reinvigorate the district.

A few months ago, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded the city $200,000 to push revitalization forward. And recently, a nonprofit, called Harbor District, Inc., officially formed to help coordinate the process.

S Bence

Currently, Milwaukee's inner harbor is not an inviting space. But change is brewing.

Eddee Daniel

Milwaukee's Inner Harbor was once home to 10,000 acres of wetland. Today, just a minuscule remnant remains and it is slated for restoration. 

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