City of Cudahy wins back Iceport property in auction

The City of Cudahy recently submitted the winning bid in a sheriff’s auction to purchase the 31.2-acre site of the failed Iceport development.

The City of Cudahy recently submitted the winning bid in a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department auction to purchase the 31.2-acre site of the failed Iceport development at the southeast corner of Nicholson and Layton avenues.

The city’s bid for the property was $10 million, but city officials said that since Cudahy held the $34.8 million mortgage for the property, the city will only have to pay the Sheriff’s fee, which is under $500.

The auction was the result of a foreclosure action that the city took against the Iceport developer, Sportsites LLC.

"When I first took office in 2007, I was told that the foreclosure process would likely be resolved in 2012," said Cudahy Mayor Ryan McCue. "We’re glad the judge ruled in favor of the city, which will allow us to move forward with future development in 2009 vs. 2012."

McCue expects to obtain the deed to the property by late July.

The Iceport was a proposed $29 million hockey and skating rink complex. It was only partially built, and in 2004 construction was halted because of financial problems. Later, city officials declared the project in default of a development agreement with the city.

In 2007, Sportsites agreed to sell the property to Menomonee Falls-based Continental Properties Co. Inc. However, that deal fell through after Continental’s plans to develop a 60,000-square-foot indoor soccer training facility on the property with the Milwaukee Wave did not come together and after city officials rejected a Wal-Mart development proposal for the property.

"I am happy to finally put the Iceport behind us, and I now look forward to developing the land in a way that will really benefit the community," McCue said. "I hope to have (the partially built structure) torn down this fall."

City staff members are in the final stages of preparing requests for proposals (RFPs) to raze the steel Iceport structure.

City officials want to attract development to the property, but are just in the discussion phase of what they want that development to be and how they will attract it, said Cudahy economic development director Lara Fritts.

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