Couture Stands on Lake Michigan History Milwaukee, WI

The relationship of the planned 44-story Couture and Lake Michigan on Milwaukee’s lakefront stands on more than spectacular views and access to the lake. It’s built upon complex land issues that grew out of a portion of the lake being filled in the 19th century creating a 2.2 acre-site that posed legal issues for private development. The Couture is a planned high-rise with 302 high-end apartments and includes restaurant and retail space, a parking structure, a station for the city’s new downtown streetcar service, a transit concourse for buses and a public plaza.

As the surveyor for the project, raSmith worked with developer Barrett Visionary; law firm Meissner, Tierney, Fisher and Nichols; and Rinka Chung Architecture to overcome several complexities including establishing the boundary of the site and the lake as they are today. Extensive coordination was critical with the law team, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). In addition, the standard survey coordinate reference system was converted into a separate Milwaukee Streetcar survey reference system to accommodate its construction.

Freshwater Plaza Residential and Retail Front Entrance