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MILWAUKEE-The Bradley Center Sports & Entertainment Corp. has preliminarily agreed to partner with Lauth, based in Indianapolis, to develop a new retail center that would be adjacent to the Milwaukee Bucks stadium, also used by the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals and the Marquette University Golden Eagles basketball team. Larry Evinger, FVP of retail development for Lauth, tells GlobeSt.com that the new center would be “certainly more than 200,000 sf,” and would cost at least $70 million.

Steve Costello, president of the Bradley Center, says in a statement that Lauth was chosen after a nationwide search. “The center brings more than 1.5 million people Downtown every year. Lauth understands the important role we play in this community and will be an outstanding partner as the center evolves into an even stronger entertainment centerpiece for Downtown and the entire Milwaukee metro area.” In addition to serving as a sports arena, the center also hosts concerts and other entertainment events.

The two companies are in the process of completing a development agreement with an initial development proposal. “We’re going to now formulate plans with the Bradley board, and hopefully present it to different people in the city and the community, to get their input and then present it to the city planning group. We hope to have something up by late 2009,” Evinger says.

He says the project will likely be one building with restaurants, which could include liquor, but would also have more family themed restaurants and other retail. Smaller users will be on the first level, Evinger says, and larger users will go on the upper levels. He says how tall the building will get “will be based on demand.”

The area around the stadium has seen new retail, Evinger says, including a new Pick ‘N Save grocery store and a new Capital Grill, as well as a couple thousand new condominiums built in the Downtown in the past four years. “What drew us there is the vibrant nature of the urban core,” he says. “You see all these new people living and working in the city. Chicagoans are even buying condos here because it’s easier to get a boat slip.”

The Center accommodates 18,600 attendees for basketball, 17,800 for hockey and up to 20,000 for concerts, with a total area of 550,000 square feet. The site is approximately six acres and is located across the street from and just north of the Wisconsin Center District.

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