The pocket park that has been a part of Marcus Corporation’s potential plan to build a new development along the curve at Knapp Street, where Water Street bends to the northeast, is about to become a reality.
The 2.25-acre parcel of land, bordered by the Milwaukee River and Knapp, Cherry and Water Streets, was purchased by Marcus a few years ago with an eye toward a $112 million mixed-use tower, called Edison Place, that potentially included Downtown’s first movie theaters in years.
While that project hasn’t yet begun, the park, which was to break ground late last year is now preparing to begin construction on about a half-acre along Water and Knapp Streets.
The park has been part of the vision for the site since the land was acquired.
According to a statement from the company, "When The Marcus Corporation purchased the parcel of land from Milwaukee County in 2017 it was done so under the condition that it would be developed into a green space that is consistent with a public park.
"The application was submitted about a week and a half ago, and the plan is to break ground about 30 days or so after we receive the necessary permit."
According to the statement, the park is expected to include green space, with grass and trees, walking paths and a sitting garden with flowers.
"There would be no retail on this space," it added.
Weather delayed the start of construction late last year, the statement said.
"The park does not yet have a name since we are in the early stages of developing it," said Marcus Corporation’s Mari Randa.
"We would not feel comfortable projecting a completion date yet – especially since we are early on in the process."
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
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.