Marquette sells 11 acres on Michigan St. to developers for new sports and entertainment district

Centerpiece athletic stadium will be home to professional soccer, serve as competition venue for Marquette men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse

Marquette University has sold an 11-acre parcel of land it purchased in 2014 and 2015, located to the northeast of the Marquette Interchange, to Bear Development who, together with Kacmarcik Enterprises, plans to develop the area into a vibrant sports and entertainment district. The land, which will be master developed by Bear, is bordered by N. 6th Street to the east, Michigan Street to the north, and the Marquette Interchange to the west and south.

As Marquette considered potential buyers for this parcel, it was important that any development add value and economic growth to our community.

Plans for the comprehensive district include the development of a stadium, which will be home to a professional soccer club, an indoor concert venue, a full-service hotel, multi-family residential housing, retail, and food and beverage elements. The centerpiece of the proposed district is the 8,000-seat-stadium, which will serve as the home to the highest level of professional soccer in the state of Wisconsin and as the home competition field for Marquette men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. The Marquette teams will continue to practice at the Valley Fields facility.

The development will serve as a catalyst for the region and will play a pivotal role in linking downtown Milwaukee, the Menomonee Valley, the Near West Side neighborhood and Marquette University. The sports and entertainment district is projected to create hundreds of new jobs in the community and draw a million visitors annually, many of whom will be new to our city.

The site, which contains mostly vacant parcels and parking lots, includes a vacant hotel building, an office building and the Marquette Behavior Analysis Program Building, located at 525 N. 6th St. All buildings are included in the sale.

The developers will demolish the vacant hotel building on the site as part of the project. Tenants in the office building have been notified of the sale and will be relocating. Marquette’s Behavior Analysis Program, which is located on the farthest east portion of the property, will not be immediately affected. The university is working with the faculty in that facility to identify a new location for the program.

“This new development reimagines and promises to bring new life into a highly visible strategic corridor, presenting an exceptional opportunity to connect the Marquette University campus and Westown neighborhood with the Downtown Milwaukee renaissance,” said President Michael R. Lovell. “The economic revitalization and community pride this multi-purpose development will catalyze is something I am proud Marquette can help facilitate through the strategic sale of this important parcel of land. I look forward to cheering on our men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer teams in their new competition venue.”

“I would like to thank the leaders at Kacmarcik Enterprises and Bear Development for aligning with us on a development that supports Marquette’s own strategic and campus master plans,” said Joel Pogodzinski, senior vice president and chief operating officer. “We are excited for the impact this project will have on Milwaukee, our nearby neighborhood and our campus community.”

Marquette will have no financial or controlling interests in the sports and entertainment district development. The university will be a lessee in the athletic stadium, and a cooperative and supportive neighbor of this new premier sports and entertainment and residential destination. All site preparation and remediation, including demolition of the vacant hotel property and other buildings, will be handled by the buyers. This sale and development aligns with the university’s Beyond Boundaries strategic plan themes of Social Responsibility Through Community Engagement and Sustainability of Valuable Resources.

Watch Marquette Today for updates related to the development.