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MILWAUKEE-Harley-Davidson has broken ground on a 130,000-sf museum at Sixth and Canal streets, not with a shovel, but with the burnout spin of the its XL 883R Sportster motorcycle, driven by dirt track racer Scott Parker. A spokeswoman confirms the construction cost for the opening phase of the Harley-Davidson Museum is about at $75 million, with an additional $20 million estimated for a future expansion.

The museum will consist of three joined structures. In addition to housing a collection of the company’s historical motorcycles, including one that had been owned by Elvis Presley, the complex will contain a restaurant, cafe, retail shop, company archives, meeting space and event area, all lined by a park area along Menomonee Canal.

Harley acquired the 20-acre parcel from the city for $3 million or $150,000 an acre. The city is providing a $7-million incentive that will be repaid with property taxes.

New York City-based Pentagram is the architect, working with locally based Hammel, Green & Abrahamson. The museum is scheduled to open in 2008. Plans call for the addition of a 100,000-sf office building on the land, but no timeline has yet been established, according to the spokeswoman.

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