Franklin officials consider TIF proposal for ballpark at The Rock

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City of Franklin officials are considering a proposal to provide tax incremental financing funds to Zimmerman Ventures for a proposed a $10.5 million minor league baseball stadium that would be built at The Rock sports complex.

The Rock is the skiing, baseball and BMX and mountain biking complex created by Greenfield-based Zimmerman Ventures at the former Crystal Ridge Ski Hill, a Milwaukee County Parks property northwest of South 76th Street and Loomis Road in Franklin. Zimmerman Ventures wants to build a minor league ballpark there for a team that would play in the independent Frontier League, and is seeking assistance from the city to pay for the facility.

Zimmerman Ventures says it plans to do a significant mixed use development near The Rock that will create a downtown district for Franklin. The proposed TIF district would allocate additional tax revenues generated by the mixed-use development to pay for the cost to build the ballpark. The proposed deal with the city also calls for the city to purchase vacant land across Crystal Ridge Drive from the state for no more than $600,000 for the mixed-use development project.

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“We are proposing a development that will create a lively ‘Franklin Downtown District’ (mixed-use retail, office, hospitality, and residential development) as well as a revitalized, fully integrated corridor in and around 76th and Rawson Avenue, all influenced by the presence of a new professional baseball stadium,” says the Zimmerman Ventures proposal submitted to the city.

Franklin officials rejected a previous proposal from Zimmerman Ventures requesting the city borrow $10.5 million for the ballpark, with rent payments from the baseball team used to pay the city back for the loan.

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