Recently, we got a tour of the progress of the construction of the new 18-story, $101 million office tower at 833 E. Michigan St. in Downtown Milwaukee.
According to Irgens VP Thomas Irgens, the roughly 360,000-square foot building is two-thirds leased and some of the first tenants will begin moving in on March 1. "That's about 53 days," Irgens Development Director John Ford – who is the project manager – chimes in. He'd know.
On many floors, finishes are being installed. On the day I visited, the place was buzzing. The smell of fresh paint was in the stairwells, technology workers pushed carts full of wiring onto the freight elevator and workers were at work on the six elevators.
By May 1, Rare Steakhouse will open just off the lobby, and soon after another wave of tenants will begin to arrive at the gleaming new tower designed by Kahler Slater. Four levels of parking will accommodate more than 450 vehicles, and there will be an electric car charging station, as well as racks for about 75 bikes.
That the north facade's mirror-like exterior reflects the US Bank Building seems appropriate because the galleria level of 833 East Michigan connects with the US Bank's galleria shops and restaurants, as well as the parking structure via skywalk. When the Couture (and a streetcar station) is built to the east and a new hotel goes up to the west, they, too, will be connected to the complex.
We take you inside, too, with this series of photos that show you what it looks like...
1. A striking copper sculpture will be installed in the lobby and visible up Cass Street to Wisconsin Avenue
2. 833 is the first building in town to use this glass system, made by a Menomonee Falls company
3. Two banks of three elevators are being installed
4. Raw office space offers vast expanses; there are just four columns on each floor
5. The views are spectacular in every direction
6. Rare Steakhouse will open in this space May 1
7. The health club is free to all tenants
8. The galleria connects with the US Bank building
9. The gleaming exterior acts like a mirror
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.