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Land sale built for builders

By Sean Ryan

Supporters of Milwaukee’s preference for local bidders have long said companies should just move into Milwaukee and quit complaining.

But the old, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” argument falls flat without good properties to build a construction yard in the city. City residents don’t want to hear the trucks rumbling by and in decades past have chased builders out of Milwaukee.

But now the city of Milwaukee has the ability to offer a once-in-a-lifetime deal to the construction community. The Department of Public Works, in a planned 2011 budget, wants to move out of its 2-acre forestry yard at 21st and Holt and sell the land.

The idea still needs approval from elected officials, but Preston Cole, Milwaukee DPW director of operations, presents it as an interesting bargain.

The city, through its years of using the property for landscaping, has basically cued this thing up for a construction company, Cole said. Because DPW trucks have been roaring through the area for years, there’s no need to worry about construction trucks bothering neighbors.

To sweeten the deal, the property comes with a 5 percent price preference when bidding city of Milwaukee DPW contracts. You can’t find that deal anywhere else!

If DPW’s plan to move out of the site is approved, look for this puppy to hit the market sometime after 2011. But start saving now, the site is assessed at $1 million.

Sean Ryan, a staff writer at The Daily Reporter, has never complained to his aldermen about construction noise.

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