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Franklin Ballpark Plan Moves Forward

Franklin development planA proposal for a ballpark in Franklin (WI) has moved forward, with the town’s Plan Commission recommending the project to the Common Council.

Last week, we took a closer look at this proposal, which calls for the construction of a ballpark for an independent American Association team and the UW-Milwaukee Panthers in the Milwaukee suburb. Along with the 2,500 seat facility, the The Rock Sports Complex and Ballpark Common plan will feature a retail and entertainment complex that includes four Little League-sized fields, apartments, and at least one hotel. Developer Mike Zimmerman is leading the development, with Blair Williams and Greg Marso on board as partners.

The Plan Commission was apparently pleased by the more detailed proposal that was submitted on Thursday, as it approved the project by a 4-1 margin. Up next for the developers is the Franklin Common Council, which is slated to vote on the project on April 4. From the Milwaukee Business Journal:

As part of its endorsement, the Plan Commission put another responsibility on the developers. The city may make the developers pay for a study to find ways to minimize noise and light from the Rock or new developments spilling over into surrounding neighborhoods, [Franklin economic development director Aaron] Hertzberg said. Impacts from lights and noise are among concerns neighbors have raised about the project.

The developers also redesigned their development in response to neighborhoods south of Rawson Avenue, near land planned for new apartment developments, Hertzberg said. They added more trees and other plants in a buffer between the neighborhood and planned development, he said. Also, the plan calls for a row of townhouses, rather than larger apartment buildings, to be built along that buffer, he said.

“There’s an attempt being made here from the development team to react,” he said.

On the current timeline, construction on the ballpark would begin this fall, with the entire project set to be complete by 2020.

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