Every Friday, Stuff We Missed looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for, well, stuff we missed throughout the week.
• In case you missed it, Madison-based concert promoter Frank Productions (which is 51% owned by Live Nation) and its sister company FPC Live want to build a $50 million live music complex in the Deer District—right next to Fiserv Forum, basically where the BMO Harris Bradley Center used to be. The complex, which was previously shooed away from the Third Ward but now has the support of the Milwaukee Bucks—would house both a 4,000-capacity venue and an 800-capacity venue. Some folks are excited for this potential addition to Milwaukee’s live music scene. Some folks working in the current Milwaukee live music scene are not.
A group called “Save MKE’s Music Scene” has been making the most noise, launching petitions and urging folks to contact their local alders. The group’s mission statement reads thusly:
Live Nation/Ticketmaster fronted by Frank Productions (FPC Live) now has plans to build a new music venue in the Deer District. The 108,000 sq. ft. structure consists of two general admission venues (capacity of 4,000 and 800) that will hold 135 events over the course of a year. All 135 events will be shows that would otherwise play at The Riverside Theater, The Rave/Eagles Club, The Pabst Theater, Turner Hall, The BMO Harris Pavilion, Shank Hall, or Cactus Club, destroying the viability of Milwaukee’s current vibrant music scene. The venue location lies on the Bradley Center land.
Live Nation’s proposed development threatens the very existence of Turner Hall, Cactus Club, Miller High Life Theatre, The Pabst Theater, The Riverside Theater, Shank Hall, The Rave/Eagles Club, and many other iconic neighborhood music stages, which make Milwaukee live music scene a jewel among the nation.
The group’s LLC is registered to “veteran GOP operative” Craig Peterson. Peterson organized the previous campaign to prevent the FPC complex from being built in the Third Ward.
Anyway, this will all likely come up at a City Plan Commission public hearing on Monday, September 26 at 1:30 p.m., in the first-floor boardroom of 809 N. Broadway. The zoning-related hearing, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal, “represents the first hurdle the proposal needs to cross. If the Plan Commission approves a proposed amendment, the matter would head to the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee and then the full Common Council.” The Business Journal continues:
Peterson said opponents will challenge the rezoning based on land-use issues at the Plan Commission meeting.
Land use issues include the FPC Live proposal for public plazas outside the venue, which Peterson said goes against the planned-district requirement for no such setbacks. Also, the Bucks and FPC Live propose special consideration to lower the height of the venue from the minimum requirements for planned districts and the downtown plan, which Peterson said unnecessarily reduces the density of the proposed development.
Peterson suggested that FPC Live create a taller structure with other uses atop the music venue such as apartments. He cited FPC Live’s The Sylvee venue in Madison, which is located in the multi-story mixed-use Gebhardt Building.
Frank Productions CEO Joel Plant and Bucks President Peter Feigin will be among those speaking in favor of the complex. “Representatives of Pabst Theater Group, Save MKE’s Music Scene and an attorney representing opponents will speak at the Plan Commission meeting,” too. Buckle up. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is in the midst of a big $75 million campaign to build a new theater complex at its current Downtown Milwaukee location, 108 E. Wells St. A good chunk of that $75 million has already been raised; $10 million will come from Associated Bank, who just signed a $10 million, 20-year naming rights deal with the Rep. When completed, the facility will be known as the Associated Bank Theater Center. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• As we all know, National Cheese Curd Day is October 15. However, Lakefront Brewery will get a jump on the holiday with a special one-day-only curd menu on October 13. Three words: Dill Pickle Curds. [OnMilwaukee]
• Milwaukee County Transit System installed its very first electric bus charging station. The station is located on Watertown Plank Road, and is part of the East-West Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line. [FOX6]
• State Street Pizza Pub, 322 W. State St., has one of those robot waiters now. It’s called Servi, but there’s a contest to give it a new name. We vote for Jinx. [Urban Milwaukee]
• A new banquet hall and cocktail lounge called Brick Wing Event Hall may be coming to 804 N. Milwaukee St. in Downtown Milwaukee. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Chicago-based brewery/incubator Pilot Project is moving into the recently shuttered Milwaukee Brewing Co. at 1128 N. 9th St. [Milwaukee Magazine]
• Johnsons Park, 1919 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., will now be known by its full namesake name: Clarence and Cleopatra Johnson Park. [Urban Milwaukee]
• Bay View bar Lost Whale, 2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., will do a What We Do In The Shadows pop-up thing October 28-30. “YES, the rumors are true. Our Halloween pop-up is already in the works! ” Lost Whale says. “This year we are transforming into everyone’s favorite vampire nightclub. Nadja’s! Running from 10/28 to 10/30! We will have all your favorite What We Do In The Shadows themed drinks and decor! Mark your calendars!” [OnMilwaukee]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!
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