Revitalizing History

Take an abandoned Milwaukee icon, mix it with a philanthropist who adored the city he grew up in, and you have real estate developer and philanthropist Joseph Zilber’s monumental redevelopment of the former Pabst Brewing complex

After operating for more than 150 years, Pabst Brewery closed in 1996, leaving a seven-block area of downtown Milwaukee vacant. For more than a decade, historic structures deteriorated until Zilber purchased the buildings in August 2006. His vision for this site—the northwest gateway to downtown Milwaukee—was to redevelop it around the concepts of historic preservation and sustainability.

Although Zilber passed away in 2010, his commitment to eco-friendliness can be seen in The Brewery’s 170-page sustainability guidelines and its designation as a LEED Platinum Neighborhood Development.

Gorman & Company, The Brewery site's lead developers, wanted to make a real investment in Milwaukee by creating a thoughtful, sustainable, and green neighborhood. They’ve gone to great lengths to make sure The Brewhouse Inn & Suites is a LEED-certified brewery development. From development to construction, The Brewery has achieved platinum certification and is on track to be one of urban America’s premier sustainable neighborhoods.

This responsibly planned gateway to Milwaukee’s great downtown offers residents and guests alike a place to work, live, learn, and play. Gorman & Company has developed innovative and catalytic properties in partnership with communities across the country.

Going Green

Before planning and construction even began, members of The Brewery development team, the City of Milwaukee Department of City Development, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, representatives from local universities, national sustainability experts, and other community stakeholders held discussions about sustainability issues and green strategies specific to The Brewery site. Their efforts have resulted in a Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System.

Cleanup efforts of the complex's buildings included removal of asbestos, lead paint, contaminated soils, and other pollutants. The Brewery recycled, reclaimed, or resold more than 85 percent of all debris from demolished buildings and infrastructure, and new buildings must have a minimum of 75 percent of their construction waste recycled.

The Brewery also diverts storm water from rooftops, open areas, and roadways before it enters the combined sewer system. This storm water is collected and purified through underground detention reservoirs, porous pavement areas, bioswales, and the aggressive use of landscaping. Once a 100 percent impervious site, The Brewery now infiltrates over 75 percent of the average annual rainfall and extracts over 85 percent of its pollutants.

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