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Law firm would anchor proposed 22-story downtown Milwaukee building

A 22-story office building is proposed for Mason Street between East Jefferson and East Jackson streets in downtown Milwaukee. Godfrey & Kahn SC law firm, now in the M&I corporate headquarters building at 780 N. Water St., would anchor the development by occupying 80,000 square feet. (Rendering courtesy of Rinka Chung Architecture Inc.)

A $56 million, 22-story office building that will house the Godfrey & Kahn SC law firm has been proposed for the east side of downtown Milwaukee.

Joel Lee, president of Van Buren Management Inc., said the location is ideal for the development. Van Buren is working with Milwaukee-based Irgens Development Partners LLC on the project.

The building would replace a surface parking lot on Mason Street between East Jefferson and East Jackson streets.

The law firm, now in the M&I corporate headquarters building at 780 N. Water St., will anchor the development by occupying 80,000 square feet.

Milwaukee will be asked to provide an estimated $20 million in tax increment finance money for the eight- to 10-floor garage portion of the project, Lee said. TIF districts let municipalities borrow money to aid private developments. New taxes generated by the projects pay off the debt.

Lee estimated the TIF loan would be repaid in less than 10 years.

The ground level of the building will house commercial development as required by city ordinance.

In addition to public and private financing, city zoning approval is needed. Lee said construction could begin by early summer and take two years to complete.

— Marie Rohde

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