Veit Submits Winning Bid To Demolish Milwaukee Northridge Mall

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Minnesota-based Veit submitted the lowest bid to demolish the 800,000-square-foot structure and clear the surrounding site.

The company, which has an office in New Berlin and has previously been involved in several Milwaukee projects, submitted a bid of $10.7 million. The City of Milwaukee said eight bids were received.

City officials previously said they hoped to begin demolition work, which would begin with environmental abatement and utility relocation, this summer. The city won the property in a tax foreclosure lawsuit earlier this year.

“The City will validate the bid and then work with Veit over the coming weeks to execute a contract. This contract will include full asbestos abatement, demolition of the remaining buildings, and site restoration work. After a contract is signed, the City and Veit will host a public meeting to share details on the project, including details about the start date, timing, and the sequence of work,” said a press release issued Monday.

Veit’s equipment can currently be spotted at another unusual project, the disassembly of Northwestern Mutual‘s North Building. That building is being stripped to its core and rebuilt as a glassy tower. Veit also completely deconstructed the East Building, replaced by insurance company’s signature 32-story office tower.
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Veit also razed the Bradley Center and a neighboring parking structure, cleaned up the explosion-damaged River One development in the Harbor District, leveled the former America’s Best Quality Coatings building in Walker’s Point, quickly demolished the former Forest Home Library, razed Marquette University‘s McCormick Hall, smashed the Downtown Transit Center where The Couture now stands and demolished The Travis Building at 27th and Wisconsin where the State of Wisconsin intends to build an office building.

Veit representatives were among several companies Urban Milwaukee spotted at a May pre-bid meeting. Contractors have since had a second chance to tour the structure.

The mall’s demolition will be the second structure to be cleared at the site, near N. 76th Street and W. Brown Deer Rd. HM Brandt, whose employees also attended the pre-bid meeting, previously won a bid to demolish the two-story, 153,000-square-foot structure that long housed the Boston Store.

While asbestos and other toxic or damaged materials will be disposed of as hazardous waste, much of the mall’s structure is expected to be recycled.

Demolition work is to be completed by August 2025, according to a previously provided timeline.

A redevelopment plan, intended to better utilize the 58-acre property near N. 76th Street and W. Brown Deer Road, is being created concurrently by the Department of City Development. The city is using a $15 million grant from the state’s American Rescue Plan Act grant to fund the planning and demolition projects. The demolition project includes preserving the Menard’s store, built after the mall closed on the site of a former Sears department store, and carefully working not to disturb the masonry wall that divides the mall from the store.

The city fought a nearly five-year public battle for control or demolition of the mall. A predecessor of China-based U.S. Black Spruce Enterprise Group purchased the property for $6 million in 2008, five years after the mall closed. But Black Spruce never advanced its plans for an Asian marketplace beyond conceptual drawings.

In 2017, Black Spruce did allow YouTube personality Casey Neistat to film a Winter Wonderland holiday gift giveaway. In Neistat’s video, the mall appears ready to reopen as soon as the temporary set was taken down. But the set was never fully taken down, and the mall, without Black Spruce’s intervention, became a hotbed for trespassing and vandalism.

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