Grafton-based Kacmarcik Enterprises and Kenosha-based Bear Development plan to create a mixed-use development in downtown Milwaukee that would be anchored by an 8,000-seat professional soccer stadium.
Kacmarcik Enterprises and Bear Development announced today that they have agreed to purchase an 11-acre parcel from Marquette University to develop a sports and entertainment district. The site is bounded by North 6th Street on the east, Michigan Street on the north, and the Marquette Interchange to the east and south.
In addition to the soccer stadium, plans for the development including an indoor concert venue, a full-service hotel, multi-family residential housing, retail and food and beverage.
“We are thrilled to work with the City of Milwaukee and other community partners to transform a long-dormant site into a vibrant sports and entertainment district, furthering opportunities to live, work and play downtown,” said S.R. Mills, Bear Development CEO.
The soccer stadium will be the home of the highest level of professional soccer in Wisconsin and will serve as the home field for Marquette University’s men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse teams. The professional soccer league affiliate will be announced soon, according to a news release.
“Milwaukee is one of the great sports cities in the United States, and we are excited to bring professional outdoor soccer to the community,” said Jim Kacmarcik, chairman and CEO of Kacmarcik Enterprises, and the lead owner of Forward Madison FC, Madison’s USL League One franchise. “The beauty of soccer is that all across the world, communities rally behind their city’s club to support the players, the team, and each other.”
The stadium will also host community events, recreational programming, and other athletic uses. The field, which features a premium, synthetic turf surface, will be used from March through November, hosting approximately 200 events.
Adjacent to the soccer facility will be a 3,500-person indoor concert venue operated by “one of the world’s premier concert promoters” and the Pabst Theater Group in partnership with Kacmarcik Enterprises, according to a news release. The facility will host national touring acts 80-to-100 nights a year and more than 300 events a year in total.
“This amazing new venue is another rung on the Pabst Theater Group’s ‘artist and fan developmental ladder’ and will help artists to choose Milwaukee as a city to not only launch their careers but support them as they continue to return and as they grow,” said Gary Witt, president and CEO of the Pabst Theater Group. “The location is a perfect fit for a concert venue. It has plenty of parking and easy access to trains, buses, and highways, and it’s only a stone’s throw from downtown. This is the right place for us to be, working alongside great partners like Kacmarcik Enterprises and Bear Development and getting to expand our venues’ potential in the same space as an exciting new professional soccer stadium. As an almost 20-year-old independent Milwaukee business, we are honored to carry the torch for live performances in Milwaukee into the future, along with other independent local powerhouses like The Rave, The Cactus Club, and Shank Hall.”
Directly attached to the indoor concert venue will be a full-service, 140-room hotel with downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan views. Plans for the upscale hotel, owned by Bear Development, will feature a full-service bar and restaurant overlooking the soccer stadium and will be a convenient amenity for concert and stadium visitors.
The western edge of the site will feature 99 multi-family housing units.
The project is scheduled to break ground later this year, with the stadium and entertainment elements projected to open in spring 2024.
No dollar figure was given today for the project. Mills declined additional comment today, but indicated that financing for the project is in the works and could include a request for tax incremental financing from the city.