A new $10.5-million ballpark for an independent Frontier League team in the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin could be backed by a city-backed TIF district under a plan floated by local officials.
The TIF district would back a more ambitious $100-million development project that would essentially create a downtown for the small city, complete with retail, entertainment and office space.
None of this is final: the City Council will discuss the project this week and, if all goes well, vote to move forward on April 22. Under the plan, Mike Zimmerman — owner of The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin — would borrow the $10.5 million for construction and then be repaid over time with TIF proceeds. Zimmerman would have specific incentives to boost the downtown development project: if TIF revenues come up short because of slow property-tax growth, he and his investors would be on the hook. From the Milwaukee Business Journal:
After about a month of heavy negotiations, a Franklin task force on Monday approved the outlines of a deal to make that stadium project happen and promote broader private development around that area of the city, said Franklin administrator Mark Luberda.
“It’s not really a proposal about a baseball stadium as much it is a proposal about a new downtown,” Luberda said. “We conservatively estimated that it approaches the potential of about $100 million.”
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