In March, Mayor Tom Barrett said that the City and the County were close to working together to market the vacant Park East corridor parcels west of the river.
Earlier this week, an invitation to a press conference at 3rd and Juneau next week with both Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele went out.
That bodes well in light of what Abele told me in an interview in May.
"One of the things that has been a problem in development of Park East is that for a lot of potential development area there, you need a set of approvals from the City and then a set of approvals from the County," he said. "Not everybody is clear on what’s what."
The press conference on Tuesday morning at 9:15 suggests the two entities have gotten together to clarify "what’s what."
The media event has been called, according to a press release today from Abele’s office, to announce "a new effort and unique partnership next week to market and sell vacant land in the Park East."
Part of that effort is a new bidding process for the land and new RFP opportunities, as well as a new logo and a marketing push.
"For the three years I’ve been in office we’ve been working with city leaders to streamline the Park East land sale process, so far our combined efforts have produced successful developments and deals, this new program is a big next step," said Abele in the news release. "Developing this land will continue to create much needed jobs and tax dollars."
"Great opportunities exist in the Park East. In this immediate neighborhood luxury homes, corporate headquarters, and other businesses have been built," added Barrett. "Now, we want to encourage the next wave of development that will create jobs and economic activity."
The statement notes that economic development staffers at both the city and county level have been working for months with the Commercial Association of Realtors (CARW), the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and what it calls "development experts" -- with no further clarification -- on the new effort to make something happen on what they call "the most valuable undeveloped land in Milwaukee."
This news certainly suggests that it’s not a given that a new arena will be built on these three square blocks of open space.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.