Focus on investment in Black and Brown workforce

Milwaukee, June 7, 2022 – The ThriveOn Collaboration announces today is the official start of construction on its ThriveOn King building, located at the former Gimbels-Schuster’s building at 2153 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The Collaboration is a joint venture between Royal Capital, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and the Medical College of Wisconsin aiming to make Milwaukee a more equitable, healthy and thriving community for all.

“We are thrilled to start construction for ThriveOn King,” said Kevin Newell, founder and CEO of Royal Capital and co-chair of ThriveOn Collaboration. “From inception, this project has been a collective effort with the community, and we are excited to bring that collaborative vision to life in this next stage.”

With the increase in construction and other labor-intensive activities that will bring ThriveOn King to life, the development and construction team is taking a proactive approach to maximize local hiring of unemployed and underemployed individuals. Intentionality to hiring and investing in Black and Brown local talent, adding to and training the workforce is a part of this project’s strong commitment to equity. The project is committed to achieving the City of Milwaukee requirements for workforce, which includes 40 percent Residents Preference Program and 25 percent Small Business Enterprise Participation.  

Some of the first construction activities will include internal asbestos abatement, demolition of the loading dock and removal of the metal panels on the east and north sides of the building.

The completed ThriveOn King building will feature spaces focused to support its five priority areas of housing, early childhood education, health and wellness, social cohesion, and economic opportunity. Through significant neighborhood engagement and consistent meaningful input, first floor opportunities that are forthcoming include an early childhood education center in partnership with Malaika Early Learning Center, makerspace, meeting space, a food hall, and gathering spaces for special events. Office space, residential space and partners around workforce development, non-clinical healthcare partners including recently announced Versiti, and more will occupy the remaining space on the first floor and other floors. In addition, MCW programs will occupy two floors and GMF will occupy another.

For the residential units, there will be 89 mixed-income apartments, with 27 of the 89 units set aside for independent senior living. Amenities include community and media rooms, fitness center, and underground parking for residents.

Milwaukee-based JCP Construction and CG Schmidt have been selected as the contractors for the ThriveOn King project. JCP, a family-owned company, was established in 2008 by brothers Clifton, James and Jalin Phelps. With a central office on King Drive and a commitment to employing a workforce that reflects the community they serve; the company is an important part of Milwaukee’s diverse business ecosystem. JCP has contributed to some of the most recognizable projects in Wisconsin, including the Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport remodel, and the Northwestern Mutual tower and commons.

To celebrate the construction commencement milestone, and continue to thank the community, a community engagement event is planned during the summer.

The ThriveOn King project has an anticipated completion date of November 2023.

More about the ThriveOn Collaboration can be found at


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About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is Wisconsin’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has been at the heart of the civic community, helping donors achieve the greatest philanthropic impact, elevating the work of changemakers across neighborhoods, and bringing people and organizations together to help our region thrive. Racial equity is the Foundation’s North Star, guiding its investments and strategies for social and economic change. Leveraging generations of community knowledge, cross-sector partnerships and more than $1 billion in financial assets, the Foundation is committed to reimagining philanthropy, recentering communities and remaking systems to transform our region into a Milwaukee for all.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

With a history dating back to 1893, the Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement. More than 1,400 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Central Wisconsin. MCW’s School of Pharmacy opened in 2017. A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In the last ten years, faculty received more than $1.5 billion in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,100 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,600 physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 2.8 million patients annually.

About Royal Capital

At Royal Capital, having the opportunity to serve its communities in such an intimate and catalytic manner, is a privilege that it carries with high appreciation. From housing, retail, philanthropy, and community services, the people of Royal Capital are grateful for the opportunity to provide quality experiences that stretch beyond bricks and mortar. With a disciplined strategy and intentional execution, its efforts have led to the development of quality sustainable communities, while achieving the double bottom line for its investors and partners. The employees of Royal Capital are proud to be considered leaders in urban development, and we maintain our excitement to build, create, and be afforded the opportunity to “color outside the box.”

For media inquiries

Please contact: Jeremy Podolskidirector, public relations & editorial strategy