Mackie Building at a Glance       

    • Purchased in late 2014, J. Jeffers & Co. has proposed an extensive rehabilitation of the iconic Mackie Building. The property is in need of repair to stabilize the building, prevent further deterioration and, ultimately, restore and preserve one of the Midwest’s most historically significant structures.
    • Outcomes:
        • The historic redevelopment proposal calls for the most substantial rehabilitation of the property in its 135-year history, including:
            • Restoration of the bell tower and clock faces to functional use.
            • Locating and restoring the Lady Commerce statue to her original position above the main entry.
            • Reproduction of stained glass skylights and chandeliers that have been missing from the Grain Exchange for nearly 100 years.
        • Utilization of upper floors which are currently vacant and functionally obsolete  – Mackie Flats.
        • Bring the building up to modern code compliance, including sprinklering, accessibility and updated fire & life safety systems.
        • Upgraded energy efficiency to the building envelope and infrastructure.
    • J. Jeffers & Co Role: Developer, Owner, Manager.
    • Community Impact: The Mackie Building has been designated as a catalytic project by the City of Milwaukee in the Downtown Redevelopment Plan.  J. Jeffers & Co. is working with the City, the East Side Commercial Historic District and BID 21 to leverage this renovation to showcase and rebrand the entire district.

Project Summary

In recent years, the opulence of the Grain Exchange has been re-discovered and showcased, most recently by the Bartolotta Restaurant Group.  The building in which the historic Grain Exchange sits is in need of  the same care and attention.

It will require creativity and experience to balance the competing forces of historic preservation requirements, energy efficiency needs, and code compliance regulations.  The initial work on the Mackie Building will include comprehensive repairs to its foundation to prevent the building from further structural damage. J. Jeffers & Co. anticipates future phases of repair work that will include stabilization of the bell tower and clock faces to functional use, and restoration of the building roofing systems, facade, and windows  Anticipated interior work includes new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as new elevators, sprinkler and life safety systems, and two additional exit stairwells. As stewards of the property, our top priority is to ensure at least another 135 years of future prominence for the Mackie Building and the Grain Exchange.

History of the Mackie Building

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 55,000 square foot Mackie Building has a rich past linked closely to the economic drivers of early Milwaukee.  Click here to learn more about this building’s history.

Mackie Building
225 E Michigan St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Project Schedule

Purchased: November 2014
Completed: December 2016 (Expected)

Project Architect
Continuum Architects

Project Engineer

General Contractor
Barthenheier Construction