Sup. Staskunas Supports O’Donnell Park Sale to Northwestern Mutual
Confident that NM Will Keep Promises on Open Space, Public Parking
Milwaukee County Supervisor Anthony Staskunas today announced he will support the sale of O’Donnell Park to Northwestern Mutual, saying he is confident that the company will keep its promises to maintain open space and public parking at the facility.
The County Board’s Parks, Energy and Environment Committee heard testimony on the proposed sale on Tuesday, and a joint hearing of the Parks Committee and the Economic and Community Development committee heard testimony on Wednesday. Staskunas said that after careful consideration he will support the deal.
“Northwestern Mutual has been an excellent corporate citizen, and I have every reason to believe the company will live up to its promises to maintain O’Donnell Park as open space,” Staskunas said. “This is a step in the right direction toward improving downtown Milwaukee while benefitting a corporate citizen that has consistently shown its support for Milwaukee County.”
A work group under County Comptroller Scott Manske recommended that the County sell O’Donnell Park to Northwestern Mutual for $14 million, less $1.3 million for repairs to the garage’s roof. After debt retirement on the structure the County would net $5 million, which would be placed in the Milwaukee County Parks Stabilization Fund.
“I am satisfied that the County stands to gain from this proposal not only because of the net proceeds of the sale, but because O’Donnell Park will be maintained as open space and because it will include public parking,” Staskunas said. “Meanwhile it benefits Northwestern Mutual and enhances its $450 million office project that will benefit downtown Milwaukee and the County’s tax rolls.
“Most important, it’s good for the public since it will enhance a lakefront asset and save taxpayers the burden of having to renovate O’Donnell Park.”
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