Iron District Developers Buy Site
Apartments, soccer stadium, hotel and concert venue planned.
The development team behind the Iron District, a proposed downtown entertainment district, acquired the underlying properties for $12.3 million.
Marquette University sold the properties to affiliates of Kenosha-based Bear Development and businessman Jim Kacmarcik. The approximately 10-acre site is located southwest of the intersection of W. Michigan St. and N. 6th St. and backs up to the Marquette Interchange.
According to real estate documents posted Wednesday by the State of Wisconsin, the site includes nine properties: 525 N. 6th St., 545 N. James Lovell St., 555 N. James Lovell St., 521 N. 8th St., 531-533 N. 8th St., 533-547 N. 9th St., 547 N. 9th St., 633 W. Michigan St. and 803 W. Michigan St.
The soccer stadium development is being led by Jim Kacmarcik, the CEO of Kapco Metal Stamping and Kacmarcik Enterprises. Kacmarcik owns the Forward Madison men’s soccer team and is a minority investor in the Milwaukee Bucks.
His newly-created entity, Iron District MKE LLC, paid $3.87 million for two acres of land which state records use more than 700 words to explain. Based on a cursory review of the description, the property matches the footprint of the stadium in the renderings.
Affiliates of Bear own the rest of the site.
The new concert venue would be led by the Pabst Theater Group, but the company is not listed as a land owner in any state real estate documents. A national, third-party partner, believed to be AEG, is expected to be included in the development, but is also not referenced in the documents. The venue is likely to compete with a new venue in the Deer District and The Rave.
The hotel would include 140 guest rooms. It would overlook the soccer stadium.
The 99-unit, affordable apartment building is the farthest along of any component and would be built independent of the other components. As it does for many affordable housing projects, the city would create a tax incremental financing district to close a financing gap. Bear would receive $1.8 million plus interest that is to be generated by increased property tax revenue from the development. The five-story building would be located on a largely vacant site at W. Michigan St. and N. 9th St.
Bear completed the 49-unit 700 Lofts affordable apartment complex in 2015 at 700 W. Michigan St., just across the street from the Iron District site.
Most of the newly-acquired site is vacant land. Much of it was created by the 2005 redevelopment of the Marquette Interchange and the removal of a circular on-off ramp.
The vacant Ramada hotel, 633 W. Michigan St., and an office building, used by Marquette’s Department of Psychology, at 525 N. 6th St., were included in the sale. Renderings depict those buildings as still standing, but the properties could be redeveloped in a future phase.
A two-story, 132,334-square-foot office building at 803 W. Michigan St. would be demolished.
Marquette assembled the site starting in 2014 for a planned, $120 million Athletic and Human Performance Research Center in partnership with Aurora Health Care. But Aurora pulled out of the project and Marquette ended up building a scaled-down version at 733 N. 12th St., closer to the middle of its campus. The university secured city approval to rezone the site in 2020 to the city’s C9G designation for “mixed activity,” which allows retail, service, light manufacturing, warehousing and residential uses.
Rendering and Site Plan
Iron District Renderings
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Iron District Developers Buy Site - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 22nd, 2022
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Iron District Apartments Subsidy Gets First Approval - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 16th, 2022
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Funds Would Support Iron District Housing Project - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 2nd, 2022
- Back in the News: Soccer Stadium Will Need Public Subsidy - Bruce Murphy - Jun 1st, 2022
- Eyes on Milwaukee: More Renderings of Downtown ‘Iron District’ Released - Jeramey Jannene - May 23rd, 2022
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Soccer Stadium, Concert Venue Planned For Downtown - Jeramey Jannene - May 20th, 2022
Read more about Iron District here