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FPC Live slims venue proposal to 1 downtown building

By: Ethan Duran//August 22, 2023//

A new rendering of FPC Live's 4,500-person venue, announced after the promoter was granted permission to build two separate concert venues. The new project will cost around $60 million and is expected to be complete by 2025, but FPC Live has to get approval from Milwaukee officials for its modified plans. (Photo courtesy of FPC Live)

FPC Live slims venue proposal to 1 downtown building

By: Ethan Duran//August 22, 2023//

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FPC Live announced it will trade its proposal for two concert venues in Milwaukee’s downtown for just one building.

A subsidiary of Live Nation and Madison-based Frank Productions, FPC Live originally planned for an 800- and a 4,000-person venue at 1001 N. Vel R. Phillips Drive, next door to the Fiserv Forum. The Milwaukee Common Council approved the project in November, but the project hasn’t broken ground yet. Company leadership pushed back the groundbreaking date over the months and crews from Miron Construction are still waiting on site.

A spokesperson confirmed the company will build a 4,500-person venue instead of the additional 800-person venue. FPC Live officials added that in the next few weeks they will go back to the city for approval of its changed plans.

“We will be seeking council approval for the modification to our project in the next few weeks,” the spokesperson said.

Company officials said they want to break ground later in 2023 and have an expected 18-month construction timeline. But that timeline may be extended since the project would have to pause during the Republican National Convention, which will be hosted by neighboring Fiserv Forum in summer of 2024. The project is anticipated to be ready in 2025.

The project is estimated to cost $60 million, up from last year’s estimated costs of $50 million. Joel Plant, the CEO of Frank Productions, said the venue will be 100% privately funded with conventional financing.

No public dollars are used in the project and the venue will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax each year, according to venue plans.

The new venue will be a single-stage, ballroom-style venue with general admission, standing room areas and reserved seating, according to venue plans. FPC Live plans to operate year-round and host around 55-60 events each year. There’s also capacity for serving corporate meetings and weddings.

According to an application to change the development’s plans, the promoter said its reason for changing the zoning was, the “project had to be downsized, to bring project to be within the budget limits.”

Milwaukee-based architect EUA will work with FPC Live on the venue.

In November, the Milwaukee Common Council approved a zoning change to kickoff project construction. A month before the approval, FPC Live announced it signed a labor agreement with Miron Construction, JCP Construction, the Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers union and the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council.

Construction officials have voiced their support for the deal, while representatives of Pabst Theater Group, including nearby Turner Hall, expressed concern about competing with the massive venue.

The company manages several theaters in Madison: High Noon Saloon, Majestic Theatre, Orpheum Theater and the Sylvee.


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