Deer District LLC, an affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks ownership group, recently purchased the Kissinger’s Meats & Poultry building at 505 W. Juneau Ave. in downtown Milwaukee for $2.5 million, according to state records.
The building lies on the site where a proposed new $500 million arena would be built. The site for the proposed arena is just north of the BMO Harris Bradley Center and is bounded by Juneau, North Fourth Street, West Highland Avenue and North Sixth Street.
The 5,000-square-foot Kissinger’s Meats & Poultry building, located on a 0.2-acre site at the southwest corner of West Juneau Avenue and North Fifth Street, was built 1926. It was sold to the Bucks ownership group by Walter and Franceen Heimerl of Bradenton, Fla.
To acquire the property, the Bucks ownership paid well above the building’s assessed value of $217,000, according to city records.
The deal is the latest sign that the Bucks ownership group is moving forward with preparations to build the arena, even as the status of the funding package remains uncertain.
The current and former owners of the Bucks have pledged to pay for half the cost of the proposed $500 million arena, plus any cost overruns and maintenance and operational costs of the building. The state Legislature is reviewing a public financing proposal for the other half of the project, which would provide funds for the arena from the state, city, county and Wisconsin Center District.
In addition to the arena, the Bucks owners are planning at least $400 million in mixed-use development around the area, including the entire Park East corridor west of the Milwaukee River.
Republicans in the state Legislature have agreed to remove the arena funding proposal from the state budget. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said the state Senate could take up the arena proposal next week as a separate bill. The Joint Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday on the Bucks arena deal.
A construction industry source told BizTimes Milwaukee this week that the Bucks ownership group is moving ahead aggressively with preparations to build a new arena so that construction could begin as soon as possible if a public financing plan is approved. Recently, crews from GESTRA Engineering did soil boring tests at the proposed arena site.
Deer District LLC also recently purchased a 0.2-acre parking lot at 1129-35 N. Old World Third St. in downtown Milwaukee. The site is less than a block east of the proposed new arena.
The Bucks ownership purchased the 34-space parking lot, located between Ugly’s and The Loaded Slate, from Milwaukee-based hotel development firm Jackson Street Holdings LLC for $750,000, according to state records. The property has an assessed value of $299,000, according to city records.
The Old World Third Street site is located within the mixed-use arena district that the Bucks owners are hoping to create. The property is just east of where the Bucks owners want to create an “entertainment live block” of bars, restaurants and stores around a covered outdoor public plaza.