We’re halfway through the second decade of the new millennium, and this past year treated Milwaukee well. We here at The Squeaky Curd have tried our darnedest to keep you Millennials up to date on the freshest happenings; but in case you missed our coverage, we present to you a recap of 5 of the biggest stories in 2015 Milwaukee.
1) The changing Milwaukee skyline
Verses this same time last year, Milwaukee now has one less small, boxy building on its horizon (the red X in the image) and two new ones rising to take its place. Shown above in orange, the accurately-named 833 East Michigan Building is just finishing completion. This 18-story glass window may be dwarfed by the US Bank building next door, but it’s a block closer to the lake.
Soon to be the second-tallest building in the state (far right yellow box), the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons will dominate its entire city block and the evolving skyline once it’s finished in 2017. But NwM wasn’t done, announcing this fall another 25-story residential and parking building just off Cathedral Square (shown in the smaller yellow box above, on the former home of what I dubbed the ugliest building in Milwaukee).
Finally, Milwaukee’s white whale of a construction project (shown in green above), The Couture, finally passed all legal tests and is scheduled to begin construction in 2016. We covered the history of this gateway skyscraper this year, and won’t miss the Saddest Building in Milwaukee that it’s replacing (we seem to love hyperbole).
2) The Milwaukee Lion
This summer the entire city had lion-fever after a possible confirmed sighting of a large cat roaming the urban streets. It was almost too amazing to believe, but gun-toting police spent a few weeks responding to various concerned citizens who swore they saw the animal. As August loomed, the Milwaukee Lion disappeared along with the hysteria. We here are still enjoying the spoils of inspiration.
3) New Bucks Arena
While it’s been a roller coaster from the highs of last year’s team to the lows of this new season, one thing has been looking positive: Milwaukee’s getting a new sports arena to house our hometown NBA team. Though opening is now delayed until 2018, and there are continued funding discussions, movement forward is still occurring. Seattle seems to have dropped their bid to steal the SuperBuckSonics.
4) Grocery Store Wars
Homegrown Roundy’s (Pick’N’Save, Copps, Metro Market) has long reigned-supreme in the Milwaukee grocery store market. It was slightly challenged in recent years when Trader Joe’s, Woodman’s, and Whole Foods moved in; but Roundy’s didn’t truly start to sweat until 2015, when food-wonderlands Meijer and Costco started opening massive warehouse-style centers all over town, cutting prices left and right. On top of the big boys, fancy niche stores like Sendik’s, Outpost, and Piggly Wiggly (your grandma’s perennial favorite) continue to fill in the gaps. It’s an embarrassment of grocery riches.
5) Miller’s Parent Company is Sold
To the evil empire, no less. We covered the impending deal, and it closed shortly after – similar to how we predicted it would (one point for the Squeaky Curd!). AB-InBev, the global conglomerate which owns Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser, agreed to purchase SAB Miller, the parent company of our last remaining hometown macro brewer. However, InBev isn’t interested in the US market and wouldn’t get past regulators anyway, so it will need to sell the US shares off to Molson-Coors. Considering Molson-Coors is the minority portion of the MillerCoors agreement we’ve been operating under for years, odds are nothing will change whatsoever for beer drinkers here in MKE. Continue living the High Life, friends.
That’s it; that’s literally everything that happened in Milwaukee in 2015. Stay tuned for a raucous 2016, Milwaukee. Hopefully we get to 6 things next year.