Construction of an entertainment district near the new Milwaukee Bucks arena is underway, representing a turning point for the project.
One of the key amenities that will surround the new arena–which is currently billed as the Wisconsin Sports and Entertainment Center–is the entertainment district. Along with providing amenities that are expected to generate activity in the area on a year-round basis, the entertainment mall will also connect the arena to the rest of downtown Milwaukee.
It was previously hoped that construction on the entertainment complex would begin in the spring, but that goal was not met. While this means that the district will not be ready when the arena opens for the 2018-19 NBA season, Bucks officials are still touting it for the role it will serve in the gameday experience. More from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
During events, the mall will feed fans into the main entrance. More important, in terms of the transformational impact of the project, it will serve as the wide base of what Bucks president Peter Feigin calls the wine-bottle-shaped funnel of buildings and beer gardens connecting the arena to the bars and restaurants on Old World 3rd St. and beyond.
Renderings for the entertainment center released last fall showed a beer garden, and a four-story building with glass exterior walls and what appeared to be fermentation tanks for a craft brewery.
Feigin indicated that the first tenant would not be a brewery, but he would not provide additional details. He said more specific plans for two key buildings in the “Live Block” will be revealed soon.
Also coming soon is the naming of the first major tenant for the complex. “They’ll start construction next month,” he said.
Beyond the entertainment district, there will be other developments occurring around the arena, including a space north of the venue that has been pitched as a prospective headquarters site. The team’s current home, the BMO Harris Bradley Center, is expected to be torn down after the Bucks’ departure, leaving additional room for development.