Developer Rick Barrett has been trying to build a high rise apartment complex across Michigan Street from the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and across Lincoln Memorial Drive from the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World for quite some time.

BUT: Couture high-rise planned for downtown Milwaukee lakefront runs into more delays on financing proposal.

Developer Rick Barrett announced he will not make Friday’s deadline to obtain an important loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Instead, his firm, Barrett Lo Visionary Development LLC, is letting the HUD application extension expire.


Barrett said he plans to resubmit an application once he’s assembled enough equity investors to meet HUD’s requirements.


But his statement didn’t say when that would be.

The Milwaukee Public Museum is looking for a new home…one suggestion was in Juneau Park on the bluff above the art museum. The Couture site is just down the street and is former county property that Barrett bought for $500,000 and the cost to demolish the existing transit center. Time for the county to buy it back at cost and voila…we have a site for MPM and another member of a lake front museum district!

P.S. Why do big developments like these rely on HUD guarantees? Apparently they can’t get enough investors…but why should taxpayer be on the hook if it fails?

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