The Franklin (WI) Common Council gave initial approval to a $26.8 million TIF for a mixed-use development that would include a new ballpark for an independent American Association team.
The Ballpark Commons proposal from developers Mike Zimmerman and Blair Williams includes as a centerpiece a 2,500-seat ballpark and a 25,000-square-foot indoor sports complex next to Zimmerman’s current business, The Rock. It would also include 36,800 square feet in restaurant space, 7,500 square feet of commercial space and up to 400 apartments.
The vote on the TIF wasn’t close — 6-0 — but it’s also not final, as the city could still pull out of the deal, and the final financial structure is still to be determined. But the vote does allow Zimmerman and Williams to move forward with the project. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
“This is a plan, not a budget,” said Dawn Gunderson, Ehlers & Associates vice president, during her presentation to the council.
But it’s a necessary step before the city and the developers create an agreement that would authorize the spending within the tax financing district at Ballpark Commons.
The city funds would include an estimated $9.3 million in grants to the developers; $7.3 million for building streets, sewer lines and water mains at the project site, $4.2 million for environmental cleanup work, $3 million for shared parking expenses and a $2.3 million contingency fund, according to Ehlers.
The project will move forward on the planning phase for now, but construction can’t happen until the state signs off on the construction plan. The site is a former landfill, raising some environmental issues regarding methane gas, and state approval is needed. If approval is received in time, the ballpark could open for the 2018 American Association season.
RELATED STORIES: Franklin Ballpark Could Open in 2018; TIF District Proposed for Ballpark Commons; Franklin Ballpark Plan Moves Forward; Franklin moves forward with new ballpark planning; Initial approval sought for new Franklin (WI) ballpark