Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Bucks Arena Work Prep

Sewer relocation has this stretch of the Park East seeing activity for the first time in ten years.

By - May 27th, 2016 09:52 am
Park East Sewer Work

Park East Sewer Work

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.


Arena Renderings

Parking Garage Renderings

Training Facility Renderings

2 thoughts on “Friday Photos: Bucks Arena Work Prep”

  1. Jason says:

    Can we please stop calling this a Corporate give away. The lot has been empty for twenty years with no takers in site. As you explain in your article millions of dollars have to be invested into the lot just to make it of value. Is this any different than Mayor Barret giving the Pabst theater away for $1 when it to needed millions of dollars in upkeep. Thank you Michael Cudahy.

  2. John Griffith says:

    It is time to move forward. What is done is done. Let’s make the most of the oppurtunity That this construction boom in our city presents. First, let’s make sure we hire & train the cronic un & under employed in our community. Second,let’s set a goal of at least 10% of the future work force needs come from those who are trying to re-enter our society after paying there due in prison or incarceration. Let’s help them develope employability skills necessary to get, keep and advance in meaningful work.And finnally let’s make this a great tourist destination with active displays of our TV culture a.k.a. “Happy Days”, “Laverne & Shirley” & ” That 70’s Show”. Let’s have a little fun with it at perhaps our own expense thus showing our intrinsict sense of humor. Milwaukee’s Greatest Virtue the “ability to laugh at ourselves”

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