July 2024 Project Spotlight | River House Phase II

June 6, 2024

Progress on phase II of the River House development along the shores of the Milwaukee River continues!

The walls are starting to rise on the second phase of construction for the next two podium-style, new construction towers along the East bank of the river. The next two buildings add an additional 333,400 SF to the project, bringing the River House site to over 700,000 SF of residential housing space. The complex includes underground parking, as well as a complete redevelopment of the river walk. Like the first phase of the project, getting to this point in construction was no easy feat.

A very compact site against the river has created complex site logistics that required a unique approach to the construction process after the setting of the two new buildings’ foundations. After the footings for both Buildings Three and Four were set, Building Four’s footings were subsequently buried under aggregate to allow for the transportation of materials and equipment to Building Three’s base from the elevated site entrance ramp from Water Street. Once the erection of Building Three is complete, the next stage of erecting Building Four will uncover the pre-set footings and continue construction.

Before getting to the stage of being able to set footings presented its own set of challenges as well. Once site excavation began, Greenfire’s team discovered many remnants and layers of previous structures that once inhabited the site. The deeper the digging went; the more discoveries were made. Entire swaths of wood flooring were uncovered as crews dug deeper into the riverbank.

As crews set the retaining wall pylons along Water Steet, Greenfire’s crews also discovered buried deep alongside Water Street were old brick building facades and windows! It is difficult to date exactly, but Michael Hankins, project engineer, surmises that the elevation of Water Street was raised over many decades ago, and those were previous streetside building fronts.

The unique challenges presented by a complex building site are one of the many reasons why Greenfire’s project expertise can deliver solutions to keep a project on track. Through diligent preplanning and execution, the next phase of River House will continue to rise along the banks of the Milwaukee River.


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