Dave Reid
Plats and Parcels

Bucks Create a Media Orgy!

Their press conference releasing the plan for new arena and development generated at least 20 stories. Mission accomplished.

By - Apr 14th, 2015 05:37 pm
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Arena Development Live Block View

Arena Development Live Block View

Unless you’ve experienced a complete media and internet blackout for the past week, you already know last week’s big real estate news came on April 8th when the Milwaukee Bucks released preliminary renderings of the new arena, and finally Milwaukee got to #SeeTheFuture.

Mary Louise Schumacher, of the Journal Sentinel, called it “an Atomic Age-like swoop that rises and falls over the structure.” Some online commenters compared it to an upside down Nike swoosh, and one thought it looked like a gas tank of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

But beyond the quickly disputed issue of what the future looks like, what did we learn last week?

The plan by Bucks ownership is much more than just an arena. Following a model seen in Los Angeles and Kansas City the plan is to build a “Live” area associated with the new arena. Basically, it’s a pedestrian area with bars and entertainment, large TVs for outdoor viewing of sporting events, fire pits in the Milwaukee version, and according to my colleague Michael Horne access to the Milwaukee Streetcar.

In addition to the arena and the “Live” block the owners spoke of an additional $500 million in development near the arena. A new practice facility and parking garage would be built in the Park East. The owners also envisioned a hotel on what would be the former BMO Harris Bradley Center site and additional mixed-use and office development in the area.

But even bigger than the announcement? The media coverage:

April 8th, 2015

April 9th, 2015

April 10th, 2015

I’m sure there were more stories, but you get the idea.

Buried in by a news cycle that was soon filled with renderings was an April 6th story by Kirchen. He asked Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio “whether he would be ready to help financially with the arena if asked?” Attanasio responded, “I’m always ready to help if asked.” Wow, let’s find out how much he’ll contribute.

And if a comment left on Urban Milwaukee is correct (and looking at the evidence I think it is), it looks like the Harley Davidson Arena was a hoax created by a local development fan.

Arena Renderings

In Other News…

Yes, there actually was some other real estate news last week. A story by Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor of Multi-Housing News covers a new report by Reis Inc. The reports shows a national slowdown in new apartments coming online in first quarter. According to the story, the 28,800 new units delivered was the lowest amount delivered in a quarter since the first quarter of 2013. But demand for apartments continued to outstrip supply, though more narrowly, so rents continue to rise across the country.

Dan Rafter, of ReJournals.com, reported on a Marcus & Millichap report on the national retail market.  The national retail market absorbed 75 million of square feet in 2014, far more than the 40 million square feet that was delivered to the market last year, meaning some 35 million in vacant space was also absorbed by retail businesses. Although nationally this shows a strengthening retail market, the story notes that the Midwest is trailing the nation and Milwaukee slipped from 40th to the 43rd on the Marcus & Millichap retail market rankings.

And in case you missed it, we featured the Kimpton Hotel project in last week’s Friday Photos.

8 thoughts on “Plats and Parcels: Bucks Create a Media Orgy!”

  1. Bill says:

    More than anyone the Business Journal is embarrassing themselves with their coverage of the Bucks. It’s been a virtual blackout in their paper for sometime and the coverage has been extremely one sided. Today they said thousands of people were at the unveiling of the logo last night when at best maybe 1,000 people were there. Why would they do that? They are pretending that way more people are interested in this thing than really are. They struggle to get outside of their own echo chamber.

    The thing is it’s easy to understand why they are all on board. Articles like this are probably good click bait and let’s face it they are humans. Mark Kass and Mark Sabljak want to be covering things like this. It’s way cooler than reporting on nuts and bolts business news. They want to be at these events and they want to hang out with all the cool kids so it gets covered non-stop.

    If they wanted to do some real journalism they’d look at a few of the columns Bruce Murphy has done on this regarding the total of the subsidy. How about an article examining why the Bradley Center never developed ancillary growth and what makes this different? How about what happens to all this development when we need a new arena in 25 years? How about going out and talking to business owners who aren’t the same tired people that they are always talking to to see what they think?

    Nope, they’re not going to do that because they might stop getting invited to all the cool stuff.

  2. M says:

    Now that we’ve had the BIG REVEAL (which is just a “picture of an idea”, picture makers reminded us), let’s talk more about those pesky facts about economic impact (or lack thereof) of public subsidies and who actually pays for all this fancy development. Let’s talk capitalism 101.

    Both LA Live & Kansas City Live were developed and are managed by a developer from Denver, Mr. Anschultz & his co. AEG. For better or worse, AEG has a track record, including what some have called egregious manipulations to get “corporate welfare.” Just found this online:

    http://www.laweekly.com/news/los-angeles-corporate-welfare-ritz-carlton-and-aeg-2161940

    Sure, encourage development downtown & all over Milwaukee. But do taxpayers (including every other biz) need to buy the Bucks not only an arena but also three floors of businesses where Bucks can skim 25-30 percent off the top. Why should taxpayers build & own an even bigger complex that must be continually managed & maintained, at our expense, not the Bucks (who get free rent and a huge cut of everything that other legit businesses only dream of), simply by lending their name and players?

    Bucks owner Feigin recently said they need a bigger footprint so they can be as “opportunistic as they can.” At least that’s honest. Overtaxed citizens can’t afford lobbyists, so they get fleeced in city after city. If we badger our “go-along” elected officials maybe we can keep at least one shirt, when we get taken to the cleaners.

  3. Juli Kaufmann says:

    Is the “Live Block” really just a parking lot during most of its useful life? Sure looks like it.

  4. Todd says:

    Conceptually, this is awesome. Stylistically, it blows. I’m unable to discern between this and any amateur rendering thought up by an architecture student. It does absolutely nothing to add to MKE’s unique image, and in the long run will only by read as “the arena in Milwaukee.”

  5. @Juli – I don’t think it is. The white lines you see in the rendering are lights, not parking lanes.

  6. John Jansen says:

    Regarding the gap in funding: Why isn’t anyone talking about the inevitable revenue to be generated through naming rights for the arena? It’s got to be called something, right? Wouldn’t that bring in $50 – $100 million over time, much like the naming rights to Miller Park?

  7. @John Jansen – I don’t think it’s worth quite that much, but that’s just a guess.

    I do believe it’s being accounted for in the owner’s contribution. That has always seemed suspect to me, as it’s not real equity. It’s money that only exists if all parties, public and private, pony up.

  8. rnprn says:

    Journal pulled all articles, I guess too much negative remarks opposed. This is being shoved down the throats of the taxpayer. Leave the Jock tax in the general fund to fund our schools, long term care, UW. Taxpayers are sick and tired of funding Walker’s corporate welfare.

    http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2015/03/10/murphys-law-bucks-owners-must-build-without-subsidy/

    http://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelease/why-would-the-state-give-220-million-to-someone-whose-company-is-destroying-milwaukee-neighborhoods/

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-11-06/stadiums-cost-taxpayers-extra-10-billion-harvard-s-long-finds

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