Summerfest grounds makeover

Construction work continues on the first phase of the $25 million redevelopment of the south end of Henry Maier Festival Park, the home of Summerfest on Milwaukee’s lakefront. The first phase of the 22-acre project will be completed in time for this year’s festival season.

Phase one includes a new Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage (with a seating capacity of 6,000 to 8,000), a new South Gate (including a courtesy office and box office), restrooms, food and beverage buildings, a covered two-story viewing deck and a new approach to the Marcus Amphitheater.

The two-story viewing deck will be for sponsor and corporate parties, and on some occasions will be open for public use.

Last year Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. agreed to a 10-year extension of its Summerfest sponsorship through 2020.

The second phase of the renovation project for the south end of the Summerfest grounds will begin at the end of this year’s festival season and will be completed in time for the 2012 festival season. Phase two’s project objectives and concepts for space planning, traffic flow, structures and customer facing attributes will be finalized in the months to come, said John Boler, vice president of sales and marketing for Milwaukee World Festival Inc.

The renovation project is the largest capital improvement project in the history of Milwaukee World Festival, which hired Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects to do the design work for the project.

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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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