Second city panel backs TIF funds for arena project

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:14 pm

On Tuesday, the council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee also voted to support the TIF funds for the arena.

Nik Kovac, a member of both committees, cast the only “no” vote. Finance & Personnel Committee members Milele Coggs, Ashanti Hamilton, Jose Perez and Terry Witkowski all voted in favor of the arena TIF funds. On Tuesday, ZND committee members Perez, Robert Bauman, Willie Wade and Jim Bohl also voted in favor of the arena TIF funds.

Supporters of the arena project said it and $500 million in ancillary development the Bucks owners plan to build around the arena, is a major economic development and job creation opportunity for the city.

“It’s a huge opportunity sitting in front of us,” Hamilton said.

“This is about economic development,” Witkowski said. “For me this is all about the development, what this will do for all Milwaukeeans, and not just for fans of the Bucks.”

Between the two committees, seven members of the Common Council have now voted in support of the arena funding. Only one more “yes” vote (a total of eight) is needed to pass the funding plan by the full Common Council, which is scheduled to vote on the matter on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

The Common Council is the last major approval step needed for the arena funding deal. The current and former owners of the Bucks will pay for half of the cost of the $500 million arena and a combination of state, city, county and Wisconsin Center District funds will pay for the other half.

Bucks officials were unhappy about some changed made to the deal by the ZND committee on Tuesday, including an amendment to keep North Fourth Street open next to the arena. The Bucks want to close that portion of the street to create a public plaza to tie into the “Live Block” they plan to build on the other side of the street. The full Common Council could vote to eliminate that amendment, or other amendments, added Tuesday by the ZND committee.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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