Bucks Arena Work Prep
Sewer relocation has this stretch of the Park East seeing activity for the first time in ten years.
While the groundbreaking isn’t scheduled until June 18th, construction work is already underway on the site of the Milwaukee Bucks arena district. The Milwaukee Common Council approved the final designs for the arena, training facility and parking structure this week, and it won’t be long before those buildings start to rise from the ground.
Before construction can start on those new buildings, a sewer built as part of then long-demolished Park East Freeway spur needs to be relocated. After months of construction that work is nearly complete. When complete in the coming days the sewer will reside under a portion of the W. McKinley Ave. right-of-way.
According to a city document the sewer serves “Interstate 43, the Hillside Interchange, and WIS 145. Farther upstream, the Sewer also serves some areas of the City and a combined sewer overflow connection.” That’s a lot of waste water.
The $5.9 million project is being led by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which due to the sewer’s freeway origin owns the large piece of infrastructure. As part of the deal the Milwaukee Bucks contributed $350,000 to the state to support the relocation. The city, which was originally asked to contribute $765,000, had their share reduced because of the Bucks’ contribution and is now providing their share in-kind, rather than as a cash transfer to the state.
The move removes one of two major encumbrances on the Park East land. The land, which the Bucks bought for $1 despite its $8.8 million assessed value, also contains the leftover footings from the freeway. Those footings will cost approximately $3 million to remove.
At a glance the sale for $1 seems like a corporate giveaway, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Regardless of who bought the land, almost any development on the land was going to require millions of dollars of work to remove the footings and relocate the sewer. A competing bid to the Bucks offer proved the investment arm of the team paid market value, with developer Blair Williams bidding $1 for the land and anticipating the need for public financing support.
Enjoy our photos of the construction. They’re the first of what will countless trips to track the progress on the $500+ million arena district.
Parking Garage Renderings
Training Facility Renderings
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Read more about New Bucks Arena here