NEWaukeean: Ryan Freeland
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
Kahler Slater – Working with great people and clients on interesting projects, enriching peoples’ lives and achieving powerful results, through challenging design solutions. I’m an architect and get to work on a variety of projects which allows for each day to be even more creative than the last. It’s a great feeling to be able to bring my past experiences, working on major large-scale venues, including Target Field and the new Allianz Field for Minnesota United, to my work here in Wisconsin.
How long have you lived in MKE & what brought you here?
Coming up on a year. I was previously living in Kansas City for the past few years but from Minnesota. I married a girl from Brookfield, and after having our second child, it was time to get back closer to family and we couldn’t think of a better place to raise our family than Wisconsin, specifically the greater Milwaukee area.
What do you love most about MKE?
The people – embracing the diverse culture and food that comes with it! Milwaukee establishes and embraces a balance of family roots and culture that is unprecedented. Great people, great town!
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
Major League Soccer. The MLS is sweeping the nation with new teams and stadiums and what better a town than Milwaukee to be home to the next “wave” of MLS Expansion Teams. The sport transcends cultures and communities and is a truly global event.
What is one word that you would use to describe MKE?
Where do you see MKE in 5 years?
Continuing to build on becoming a World-Class, year-round, destination city. MKE has made great strides in investing into its infrastructure over the last decade and I hope it continues to embrace and build on the Natural Resources, Sports, Entertainment, and Cultural framework its already begun to lay. Kahler Slater is currently working on the Brown County Expo Center Redevelopment with Populous (Fiserv Forum Design Architect and my former firm) to design a $93M facility adjacent to Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. I’m excited to make a meaningful impact on this and similar future projects to come.
If you could create one thing in MKE, what would it be?
Major League Soccer Stadium. To build on the redevelopment of the Entertainment District around Fiserv Forum and the Live Block, it would be incredible for Milwaukee to expand into the MLS market sector.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
Lake Park Bistro is a perfect balance of setting and cuisine. Bartolotta’s restaurants hold a special place in my family’s heart. We’ve been going there for years and this specific setting is at the top of the list!
What is your biggest hope for this city?
I’ve watched Milwaukee’s redevelopment from afar over the last decade.
I hope for continued revitalization and redevelopment of downtown to promote and bring young talent to the city to continue the newfound energy Milwaukee is bringing to the table.
What is your favorite MKE tradition?
Friday Night Super Clubs and Fish Fry. I’ve been visiting my in-laws for years, trying to make it from Minneapolis to Wisconsin in time for a Friday night fish fry, and we finally can partake whenever we feel like some potato pancakes.
What does your ideal MKE weekend look like?
A perfect weekend around MKE would be full of family, lakes, and fish fries
Friday – Fish Fry and Brandy Old Fashion Sweet
Saturday – Cheese Curds and Bloody Marys, followed by time on the lake
Sunday – Brewers Matinee Game
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
Lake Country, we love everything Lake Country has to offer, from the fish fries and super clubs to the lakes and wildlife. It may be because we lived in Kansas for the past few years and missed pine trees and water!
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
Kopp’s! Who doesn’t love Frozen Custard and Jumbo Burgers? We’ve been stopping at Kopp’s for years during our visits to Milwaukee. Nothing like seeing your 3-year-old see a Jumbo burger for the first time!
What do you think is going to be a game changer for the city in the year of 2019?
The continued successes of the Bucks and Brewers have and will continue to re-energize the city and small businesses adjacent to these entertainment centers. Along with the preparations for the DNC coming in 2020, which will have a ripple effect like we’ve never seen!