I am excited to see the level of economic development happening across South Milwaukee these days, especially downtown, and even amid the pandemic.
The Bucyrus Club is a foundational piece — and the progress there is real.
We’ve moved to the “construction phase” of the project after months of demolition and other work performed by a group of Bucyrus retirees affiliated with the Bucyrus Oldtimers Club and South Milwaukee Industrial Museum, led by Bob Jelinek. Their sweat equity has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars, and gives them true skin in the game on a unique project that will celebrate their legacy.
I can’t thank them enough, and the city is proud to have their help in telling their story through the Bucyrus Club.
We’ve also unveiled renderings of the project produced by Zimmerman Architectural Studios, and you can see them in this post and in this BizTimes story. CG Schmidt is leading project construction.
From the BizTimes story …
The latest chapter in the building’s life will celebrate its and the city’s industrial history. Jelinek said display cases will be placed throughout the building. The 250- to 300-person main banquet room will have open ceilings and display the original cream city brick walls.
The restaurant and lounge area next to the banquet room will be modeled in the 1920s motif, said Ernie Wunsch, owner of Skyline Catering. This is a nod to the year 1920, when the building transitioned from its manufacturing use to the employee club.
Brooks and Wunsch said the project should lift up the entire downtown area and bring in people who might not otherwise visit South Milwaukee.
“There’ll be 500 new bodies here every single Saturday,” Wunsch said. He later added, “This will be for people from around all the surrounding communities.”
The Bucyrus Club opens next summer, and joins a number of other significant projects happening in our city center, including …
- The susbtantial completion of the Milwaukee Avenue streetscaping upgrades, with new Christmas decorations coming this holiday season and planters coming next spring;
- Continued progress on the plan for a new public gathering and event space near 11th and Milwaukee, another partnership with the Bucyrus Foundation;
- Ongoing work at the soon-to-be-expanded DB Tax & Wealth, across the street from the Buyrus Club;
- The opening of two cool new businesses — South Milwaukee Sausage & Meats and Dupree’s — in recent months, and a third (Burger Town) coming soon to the former Grebe’s building; and
- Big upgrades underway at Moran’s Pub and Military Connection.
The Beautification Committee is also working on a downtown mural program — more details to come on that soon.
We have worked hard, and smart, to build momentum in our city center in recent years. We’re seeing it now, and we’re just getting started.