Wisconsin Public Radio

Convention Center Expansion Advances

No new taxes used, with grand opening planned for 2023.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Aug 17th, 2019 01:48 pm
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New convention center. Rendering by Populous.

New convention center. Rendering by Populous.

The Board of the Wisconsin Center District that oversees Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Center passed a resolution to jump start the expansion of the convention center. The resolution raises the cap on agreements the board enters into to $1 million.

Wisconsin Center District’s President and CEO, Marty Brooks, said in a press release that the vote, “was critical in keeping the Wisconsin Center expansion project moving forward appropriately.” He continued saying the resolution proves that “the city, county and state are all very much in support of the expansion.”

Previous expansion plans relied on increasing local sales tax, but the Legislature showed little support because they wanted the district to find additional funding. The latest state budget guarantees state funds would cover any debts the Wisconsin Center revenues aren’t able to pay back.

But Marty Brooks said the new plans don’t depend on any funding from the state.

“We are not presently seeking any sales tax increases, any funding from either the city, county, or state,” Brooks said. “We expect to be able to fund the debt for this from our existing revenue streams.”

With the resolution approved, the Wisconsin Center District is moving it’s focus to securing consultants and finding a representative to manage the project. Brooks said they are now moving forward, securing contractors to start the development process.

“These steps are necessary to have all of the information complete so we can secure the bonding that we need to fund the project which we hope to get done late spring of next year.”

The next meeting for the Board of the Wisconsin Center is in October.

The district plans to start expansion construction by 2021 and have the Wisconsin Center’s grand opening in 2023.

Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Center Expansion Advances was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

More about the Wisconsin Center expansion

2 thoughts on “Convention Center Expansion Advances”

  1. The rendering shows 6-7 lanes of automobile traffic surrounding the center. This is not an intelligent plan for transportation in a contemporary city. Without a smart and up-to-date understanding of urban areas and the role of transportation in contemporary cities reflected in this plan, I would not support this plan. It is a throwback to 1950’s-era thinking and to the old convention center. The rendering should show multimodal forms of transportation, including bus stops, streetcar stops, and more accommodations for pedestrians.

  2. I hasten to add: accomodation for bicycles, including bike parking, dedicated bike lanes; and scooters, ADA-compliant access, protected pedestrian spaces.

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