Bids sought for Bradley Center demolition

An unidentified party is soliciting bids for demolition work of the BMO Harris Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee.

A  public notice published this week is seeking competitive bids for the demolition project “to make way” for a new arena.

The notice, posted at www.cdcnews.com, says the status of the project is “proposed pending owner review,” with “bidding project advancement possible fourth quarter 2015.”

The notice lists the owner as the City of Milwaukee. However, the owner of the Bradley Center is the Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corp., which was created by the state.

The notice says it is seeking bids for: “demolition of the existing Bradley Center facility to make way for a new Milwaukee Bucks home, to be comprised of a sports and entertainment complex from both public and private sectors. New arena should extend over two blocks and likely span State Street.”

The architect for the project is listed as Milwaukee-based Uihlein Wilson Architects Inc. David Uihlein Jr. is president of Uihlein Wilson Architects and the son of Jane Bradley Pettit, the late philanthropist who donated $93 million to build the Bradley Center in 1988. He is the only contact person listed on the public notice.

Uihlein recently sent a letter to stakeholders of the downtown entertainment district, essentially giving them his family’s blessing to demolish the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Milwaukee Theatre to make room for a new arena complex that would be the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Uihlein could not be reached for comment this morning.

The NBA has said that the Bradley Center is no longer adequate and that a new arena is needed in Milwaukee for the Bucks to remain in the city long term.

The Bradley Center would likely need to remain in operation for the Bucks to play there until a new arena is built. Uihlein’s proposal to demolish the Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Milwaukee Theatre is opposed by Franklyn Gimbel, chairman of the Wisconsin Center District, which owns and operates those facilities.

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