MILWAUKEE – A new sports and entertainment district is set to debut in downtown Milwaukee in 2024.
Kacmarcik Enterprises and Bear Development announced plans to purchase 11 acres of land from Marquette University, which will expand into the district.
The parcel of land is bordered by Sixth and Michigan streets on the east and north sides respectively. The 794/I-43 interchange completes the south and east ends of the area.
The companies said in a joint statement that the new neighborhood will include a hotel, housing, retail, dining establishments, as well as a stadium and a concert hall. The stadium is expected to host a professional football club, Marquette Football Teams and Marquette Lacrosse Teams.
“Milwaukee is one of the great sports cities in the United States, and we’re excited to bring professional outdoor football to the community,” said Jim Kacmarcik, president and CEO of Kacmarcik Enterprises, and principal owner of Forward Madison FC, Madison’s USL. Franchise Ligue 1. “The beauty of football is that all over the world, communities rally behind the club of their city to support the players, the team and the others.”
The stadium will have 8,000 seats, with a synthetic turf surface. Affiliation to the professional football league has not yet been announced.
Officials noted that the stadium could also be used for community and recreational events.
“This new development reimagines and promises to breathe new life into a highly visible, strategic corridor, providing an exceptional opportunity to connect the Marquette University campus and Westown neighborhood to Milwaukee‘s revitalized downtown,” said Michael Lovell, president of Marquette. “I am proud that Marquette can help facilitate the economic revitalization and community pride that this mixed-use development will catalyze through the strategic sale of this important parcel of land. I look forward to cheering on our men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer teams at their new venue.
Hundreds of new jobs will come to Milwaukee through these commercial establishments, as well as construction and development in the area.
Additionally, officials said they expect the sports and entertainment district to draw one million visitors to Milwaukee annually.
An indoor concert hall will be built adjacent to the soccer facility. The venue seats 3,500 people and will be operated by Pabst Theater Group and Kacmarcik Enterprises. The project leaders said, “The facility will host national tours of 80 to 100 nights per year and more than 300 events per year in total.”
Gary Witt, president and CEO of Pabst Theater Group, said the location is associated with ample parking, as well as access to trains, buses and highways.
“This incredible new venue is another rung on the Pabst Theater Group’s ‘artist and fan development ladder’ and will help artists choose Milwaukee as the city not only to launch their careers, but also to support them as they they keep coming back and as they grow,” says Witt.
A hotel with 140 rooms, with a view of the lake and the city center, will be attached to the concert hall. The hotel will include a full-service bar, as well as a restaurant overlooking the stadium.
Project managers also said the development will include 99 multi-family housing units on the west side of the property.
According to Marquette, “The site, which contains mostly vacant lots and parking lots, includes a vacant hotel building, an office building, and Marquette’s behavioral analysis program building, located at 525 N. 6th St. All the buildings are included in the sale.”
The university said developers would demolish the vacant building and tenants of the office building had been notified of the need to move. Marquette’s behavior analysis program will need to be moved, but a new space has not yet been determined.
The project is expected to come out of the ground later this year.