Depending on which news sources you follow, Milwaukee is going through either a “renaissance” or a “reinvention.” However you want to define it, it’s safe to say that Milwaukee is currently building a lot of New & Wonderful Things! Here are some of them, brought to you by GTG Home Buyers!

• If you thought the Great Milwaukee Concert Venue Wars of 2021-2024 were over, think again. Mere months after it was leaked that Potawatomi Casino Hotel plans to build a $200 million, 6,000-seat concert venue on nearby land in the Menomonee Valley, Potawatomi has announced it will first build a 2,800-seat outdoor venue that will serve as a “test run” for a future, permanent venue.

“We see this as a unique concert experience to give the city a taste of what’s to come,” Potawatomi Casino Hotel CEO Dominic Ortiz told the Milwaukee Business Journal. The temporary venue is expected to be ready by this summer. (Just in time for the Republican National Convention!)

The venue is just the latest salvo in the Great Milwaukee Concert Venue Wars of 2021-24. Things started in December 2021, when Madison-based concert promotion company FPC Live—a division of Live Nation-backed Frank Productions—announced plans to build a two-room venue next to the Summerfest grounds. In May 2022, FPC (and the Milwaukee Bucks) announced the venue would instead be built next to Fiserv Forum in the Deer District—but not before the newly announced Iron District near downtown Milwaukee announced it would be building its own 3,500-seat concert venue (operated by the Pabst Theater Group) to go along with its 8,000-seat soccer stadium. Phew.

A lot has changed since 2021, however. The two-room FPC Live venue has been downsized to a single 4,500-capacity room, and the Iron District venue has more or less been canceled and downsized to a hotel event space. (Neither projects have begun construction.) The Pabst Theater Group, meanwhile, recently celebrated the opening of the Vivarium, which essentially replaces its former Back Room @ Colectivo room.

Again: phew. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• Speaking of Potawatomi, the hotel casino is wrapping up its big $190 million renovation project—the same project that brought you that KISS restaurant!—and will open a new permanent Sportsbook space and poker room on May 3. “We are excited to bring the next level of an entertaining sports betting atmosphere to our guests,” Ortiz said in a press release. “We appreciate the patience our guests have given us while we build out these two extraordinary projects. I can assure them, it will be well worth the wait.” [OnMilwaukee]

• Sherman Park is set to get some big upgrades. Up first: “the wading pool will be converted to a splash pad, old pathways will be removed and new ones built, new lighting will be installed, a new bike loop will be constructed and staff parking will be expanded.” Construction will begin this year. A second phase of upgrades is set for 2025. [Urban Milwaukee]

• The Wisconsin State Fair plans to renovate its beloved Cream Puff Pavilion…but not until after the 2024 Fair. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

• Want to rent an apartment in that new 31-story luxury tower being built across from the Milwaukee Public Market? You know, the one called 333 Water? The cheapest unit will only cost you $2,175 per month! And the priciest unit will only put you back $9,425 per month! [Urban Milwaukee]

• The long-vacant Acapulco restaurant at 600-608 W. National Ave. may be getting a new lease on life (finally). Willie Smith wants to renovate the building, put a new restaurant downstairs, and spruce up two apartments upstairs. [Urban Milwaukee]

• The approval process has begun for the 32-story, 381-unit apartment tower known as The Edison, planned for 1005 N. Edison St. along the Milwaukee River. If/when The Edison is built, it would be the tallest mass timber building in the country—beating out Milwaukee’s own 25-story Ascent building. [Urban Milwaukee]

• All thumbs are up for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s big $78 million renovations plans. Construction will begin in May. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.