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Home / Government / After city approval of Bucks arena plans, ‘live block’ next on checklist (UPDATE)

After city approval of Bucks arena plans, ‘live block’ next on checklist (UPDATE)


A rendering of the northwest view of the new Bucks arena from the corner of North Sixth Street and Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee. (Rendering courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks)

With the necessary city approvals secured for the construction of a new Bucks arena, team officials say initial plans for a related project known as the “live block” should be coming together in a few weeks.

Detailed plans for the $524 million Bucks arena, a team training center and a parking structure all received approval from the Common Council during a meeting on Tuesday morning at City Hall.

“(The arena) is a fantastic accomplishment for the Bucks, for the city, for jobs and for the community,” said Peter Feigin, president of the Bucks, following the approval of the detailed plans by the Common Council.

Feigin said plans for the so-called live block, a public plaza that will include various entertainment venues and restaurants, should be coming together in about four weeks. Getting that part of the project approved is then expected to take about three months.

After detailed plans are submitted to the city with a request for a zoning change, they would then be considered during a public hearings before the City Plan Commission and Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee. Provided the plans win approval at those stages hearings, their final stop will be the Common Council.

The opening of the live block will require a section of North 4th Street to be closed to traffic. City officials laid the groundwork for the street closing in April by designating 4th Street between West Juneau and West Highland avenues a pedestrian mall.

The plans approved on Tuesday differ slightly from what city officials had previously seen. Among the modifications was one that would have space on the arena’s northwest side, near where West Juneau Avenue meets 6th Street, set aside for a display of public artwork.

That part of the project has been a source of concern for some city officials, who have been worried the northwest side would not look good, particularly when it will be so easy to compare with the arena’s nearby north wall. That wall is to be a continuation of the roof, which will curve downward at the edge of the building nearest Juneau Avenue.

Although the plans were approved Tuesday without resistance, at least one city official raised questions about the parking structure that is to be put up northwest of the arena. During a committee meeting last week, Alderman Nik Kovac was the only city official to vote against the detailed plans for that structure.

Kovac raised questions about the lack of plans for 70 apartments that the architects working on the project had originally suggested would stand in front of the parking garage. Kovac has said he wants to avoid having the view from Sixth Street be of a parking structure’s wall. Kovac said during a Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee meeting last week that the proposals contained no guarantee that the units would eventually be built.

Feigin said after the Common Council vote on Tuesday that the Bucks are now gathering proposals for the apartment project. He said that, despite the absence of plans on Tuesday, the apartments should still be completed at the same time as the parking structure.

Construction on the new arena is scheduled to begin on June 18. The Bucks are planning to hold a groundbreaking ceremony the same day.

“We look forward to welcoming fans from around the state on June 18 as we officially break ground on the arena and celebrate our collective efforts to build a better Milwaukee,” Feigin said.

About Alex Zank, [email protected]

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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