Bucks entertainment block probably won’t open with new arena

Team still seeking tenants

The Milwaukee Bucks are actively pursuing tenants for the entertainment live block they want to build across the street from their new arena, but it probably will not open when the arena opens in the fall of 2018. Originally the team planned to complete the arena and live block at the same time.

Bucks Brewery
Rendering of the entertainment live block by Rinka Chung Architecture

“We hope to have (the entertainment live block) under construction when the arena opens,” Alex Lasry, senior vice president of the Milwaukee Bucks told the Wisconsin Center District board on Friday. “We are actively talking to a few partners to get a few people in. We are not taking the live block lightly. The arena is great, but it will only be successful as the surrounding development.”

The “Live Block,” which will span North Fourth Street between West Highland Avenue and West Juneau Avenue, will feature a mix of dining, entertainment and retail and is one of the central elements of the Bucks’ design plan for the new arena and connects the arena with Old World Third Street.

The entertainment block was designed by Gensler and Milwaukee-based Rinka Chung Architecture.

At the center of the project is a large public plaza, which will be used for a variety of events that could include farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts, festivals or a seasonal skating rink. Renderings released in November also show a brewery. The space also includes a promenade along the arena featuring public art, gardens, a signature water feature and event lawns.

The Milwaukee Bucks broke ground on the $524 million arena project in June 2016.

To date, $125.7 million has been spent on the project including $109.7 million spent on the arena, $15 million spent on the parking structure, which will open in November, and $922,248 spent on the live block, which has mostly been design work, according to Marc Farha, executive vice president of ICON Venue Group, the owner’s representative.

The next major milestone for the arena construction will be in May when the first 300-foot truss is set. The arena’s roof will be complete in October and the structure will be substantially enclosed in November so seating installation can begin in December.

The Bucks will move to their new training center, which is being built near the new arena, in July.

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