Redevelopment plans took a step forward for one Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) location and a slight step back for another.
At a library meeting last night, MPL's Building and Development Committee voted to recommend the proposal from the developer team of Maures Development Group, Common Bond and Engberg Anderson for the Mill Road Library redevelopment project. The proposal will now go before the Library Board of Trustees for approval on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 4:30 p.m.
Selected from three submitted proposals, the recommended plan calls for moving the Mill Road Library from its current location at 6431 N. 76th St. to a city-owned site at 7717 W. Good Hope Rd. The proposed mixed-use building would feature a 15,000 square foot library, 46 units of affordable housing, on-site parking for both residents and library visitors, potential commercial space and an outdoor green space.
The new mixed-use building proposal falls in line with the similar recent library replacements at Villard Avenue and newly opened East Branch Libraries.
The proposals are a part of an $18 million project, with an anticipated $4.5 million going toward redeveloping four libraries: Mill Road, Forest Home, Capitol and Martin Luther King. Combined with the renovations at the Tippecanoe Library – which is receiving a renovation but staying in its current building – the final budgeted amount for the five library redevelopments and renovations comes to $22.4 million.
In all, the current MPL project will replace or renovate five branch libraries, with the final goal to replace and update the entire branch system with 21st century, technology-rich and multi-use facilities by 2020.
While a Mill Road proposal moves forward, however, the Building and Development Committee also decided at the meeting to not recommend either of the proposed development plans for the Forest Home Library. According to a press release, MPL will move quickly toward gathering more information about the library's replacement and discussing the next steps.