Indoor music venue complex planned near Summerfest grounds

Rendering of the proposed music venue in Milwaukee's Third Ward. (Rendering: Eppstein Uhen Architects)

Last updated on December 8th, 2021 at 04:40 pm

A new indoor venue complex that would host concerts and events year-round is planned for a site next to the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Madison-based Frank Productions on Thursday announced the project, which would be developed on an existing surface lot next to Henry Maier Festival Park that’s currently owned by Summerfest operator Milwaukee World Festival Inc. The proposed site is located south of the Summerfest administration building at 639 E. Summerfest Place and east of Erie and Jackson streets.

In its announcement, Frank Productions said the project would involve two venues, one with a capacity of 800 and the other with a capacity of 4,000. Construction is scheduled to begin early next year, with the venues projected to open after Summerfest 2023, pending approvals.

The project will be developed and owned by Marquee Ventures LLC, a San Diego-based third-party development company, and leased to and operated by Frank Productions subsidiary FPC Live. The site would be leased to Marquee Ventures under a long-term ground lease.

“Having venues of this caliber will make Milwaukee a must-play destination for all artists both at the developing level and those on the verge of playing arenas, amphitheaters, and stadiums,” said Charlie Goldstone, a president of FPC Live. “We are excited to add these rooms to the city, connecting more artists to more fans in Milwaukee.”

FPC Live and Milwaukee World Festival have worked in partnership since 2019, when they entered a preferred promoter agreement for FPC Live to promote concerts at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater and BMO Harris Pavilion outside of the Summerfest dates.

“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with FPC Live to increase access to live entertainment year round,” said Don Smiley, president and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival. “Music fans are familiar with visiting the lakefront to see their favorite artists; these new venues will extend that experience.”

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