In November, OnMilwaukee.com reported that 88Nine RadioMilwaukee (88.9 FM) would most likely move to a new location in the Fifth Ward and it was officially announced that it will happen.
RadioMilwaukee purchased a two-story, 14,000-square-foot building at 158 S. Barclay St. to house its studios, offices, a 100-seat broadcast performance space and offer rooftop space for small events.
A new ground-floor Stone Creek Coffee café will be located in the facility. The new café will feature Milwaukee’s first 100 percent manual brew bar store, where every cup of coffee will be prepared to order.
The move to the new location, expected later this year after the building is renovated, will allow the 6-year-old station to build a new state-of-the-art studio visible from the street and other facilities that will provide stronger connections between the community and the station, executive director Mary Louise Mussoline said.
"Our new facility will enable RadioMilwaukee to enhance our programs and develop a greater physical presence in the community by bringing people together under one roof for events, live performances, broadcasts, student internships and discussions," says Mussoline.
The cost of the building was $1.175 million.
The station kicked off a $2.8 million capital campaign, "Sound Foundation: Building a Better Milwaukee," that has so far raised $1.2 million, including gifts from philanthropists Peter and Jennifer Buffett, major longtime financial supporters of the station, the Astor Street Foundation and 25 other early donors to the project.
A public phase of the campaign will seek funds from the community.
Most recently, the building housed the Barclay Gallery & Garden Café and was previously home to other businesses that included a machine shop and a foundry operation.
The station’s studio and air and production staff are currently located within Milwaukee Public Schools’ central office facility at 5225 W. Vliet St. The station’s administrative staff is housed in a small rented commercial building across the street.
The Barclay facility will unite the station’s program, production and administrative staff in a single location.