By Press Release Submitted to Published Apr 02, 2015 at 7:06 AM

The vacant Lowes Home Improvement store in Midtown Center is expected to be transformed into a new, state-of-the-art multi-entertainment complex, Alderman Joe Davis, Sr. said Wednesday. 

There are plans to redevelop the 116,000-square-foot building that has been empty for several years to house a variety of fun, entertaining attractions for all ages – including cinemas, a bowling center, a bounce house, an arcade, restaurants, a laser tag arena and spaces for private and public events, including concerts and comedy shows.  

​The project is a proposed public-private partnership between the City of Milwaukee and private investors. A major step in the development process will be the acquisition of the building still owned today by Lowes, an eyesore to residents in the Midtown community that is adjacent to the neighboring vibrant and growing Midtown shopping center. Ald. Davis noted that public funds will be used to support the acquisition and construction of the new entertainment center, and he verified that negotiations to acquire the property have been ongoing.

"A formal purchase proposal was issued recently to Lowes," said Ald. Davis. "It’s the first step in an ongoing process that may take another 18 months to complete. We are not finished by any stretch of the imagination, as there are other major discussions to take place with several other parties to bring this type of project to the area."

The development would be funded in part by the Midtown Center Tax Incremental District (TID #42), which was created in 2001 and extended a few years ago. The development is expected to generate at least 250 temporary and permanent jobs, ranging from architects, construction workers, plumbers, electricians, security, to wait staff, ushers, cashiers, cooks, janitors and greeters. The goal is to hire as many Midtown residents as possible to fill the positions that will become available and to offer these residents an opportunity to develop their skills in a professional environment, Ald. Davis said.  

"This is an exciting project for Midtown and the City of Milwaukee," said Ald. Davis. "It generates needed jobs and provides resources so our community does not have to travel so far for quality entertainment and dining."