Bucks unveil Live Block plans

Will include year-round beer garden, link to Old World Third [PHOTO GALLERY]

Rendering of skywalk

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

The Milwaukee Bucks today revealed renderings of the highly-anticipated “Live Bock” portion of the downtown Milwaukee arena project. The “Live Block” will include a year-round beer garden, outdoor media wall and covered pedestrian link from the sports venue to Old World Third Street.

“This new space will be a transformational addition to the community and a year-round hub for activity in downtown Milwaukee,” Bucks president Peter Feigin said in a written statement. “Our ownership had a bold vision for a flexible space that will connect the neighborhood, spur additional development and empower additional local businesses to partner with us in revitalizing this portion of the city.”

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 Buck’s 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. The space also includes a promenade along the arena featuring public art, gardens, a signature water feature and event lawns.

“The design of the entertainment block strives to connect the surrounding community, acting as a catalyst for the development and evolution of the district and downtown Milwaukee through an active and inspiring environment for people to live, work and play in the heart of the city,” said principal Matt Rinka.

Rinka hopes people will identify with the project as “living room space.”

The ground level retail will include operable windows and garage doors that open to invite pedestrians in, while the pedestrian link, which will stretch from Old World Third to Fourth Street, will have a retractable roof so people will be protected during inclement weather, but be part of the environment during warmer months, Rinka said.

“We are going to be offering something that is unique and that is not seen anywhere else in the city,” Rinka said.  “The plaza space will allow for large outdoor events to happen that will be programmed and unprogrammed and incorporate public art. There will be so much variety that you will not get bored coming here as a resident or a visitor.”

The Office of James Burnett is providing landscape design services and Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction will manage the construction of the new entertainment block. The entertainment block is expected to be completed in time for the opening of the new arena in the fall of 2018.

The overall architecture of the project is envisioned as a modern interpretation of the industrial history of the city, with exposed steel, aluminum, wood and brick all featuring prominently in the design, according to the Bucks.

The city Plan Commission and Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee will be reviewing the plans in December and January before the Common Council votes on it in January.

The entertainment block will be adjacent to the new 714,000-square-foot arena, scheduled to open in fall of 2018.

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