Port Milwaukee announced Thursday it has signed a new long-term rental agreement with Marek Landscaping, a company that focuses on sustainable waterfront design and habitat restoration.
Marek Landscaping describes itself as “a design-build company, founded in 1996, which combines the disciplines of restoration ecology and landscape architecture,” according to the company’s website. “Our inspiration comes from nature – the vibrant and diverse qualities of our native grasslands, savannas, forests and wetlands in urban and rural environments.”
The agreement provides that Marek will have six full-time and 14 seasonal employees, said Adam Tindall-Schlicht, port manager.
The company, now located at 125 W. Melvina St., will likely take about a year or two to move its operations to the port, Tindall-Schlicht said.
A port location will allow the company to operate more efficiently by using barges to transport landscaping materials from the waterfront to project sites, he said.
Port Milwaukee is operated by the City of Milwaukee and serves as a regional transportation and distribution center. The port offers international navigation via the inland waterways network of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The rental agreement announced Thursday is with Perch Point, a limited liability company, on behalf of Marek Landscaping, according to a port statement.
“The lease, which can potentially be extended over a period of 50 years, will generate more than $ 1.3 million in new port revenue for Milwaukee,” according to the port statement.
Marek Landscaping will operate from a 0.87 acre parcel at 2452 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive at the south end of the port, the statement said. It is between the US Coast Guard station and Cupertino Park.
“My vision for Marek Landscaping has always been inspired by nature and the creation of places within natural systems,” said Mike Marek, president and landscape ecologist, in the statement.
The agreement requires Marek Landscaping to contribute $ 3 million to the port’s new economic development.
“Marek’s facilities will include a new multipurpose office and warehouse, an overhead crane and other marine infrastructure needed to receive ships and handle bulk materials and finished products for Marek’s customers,” the port statement said.
The recently announced deal also requires Marek Landscaping to improve accessibility to the Russel Avenue fishing pier, which is operated by the port, near Cupertino Park.
“Marek will create two public parking spaces adjacent to the port for nearby recreational activities,” the statement said.
Earlier this year, Port Milwaukee and community leaders announced a separate agreement with the South Shore Yacht Club to allow the continuation of the services provided by Sea Scouts Ship 299, a former tenant who operated at the port for several decades.
Milwaukee Harbor Webcam | School of Freshwater Sciences
All Port Milwaukee leases are subject to review and approval by the Council of Harbor Commissioners, Milwaukee Common Council and the Mayor. The port promotes navigation and commerce throughout the region by providing access to national and international ships, as well as rail and road transport.