Alderman Bob Donovan issues proposal to improve downtown

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan has issued a proposal to improve downtown Milwaukee. Donovan's proposal has laid out a series of suggestions from a new arena to improved retail options.

First on Donovan's list of proposals is building a new, state-of-the-art arena. The BMO Harris Bradley Center would play second fiddle and the U.S. Cellular Arena would be history.

"I would say tear down the old arena. I would've preferred seeing that location for a new convention hotel," Donovan said.

The U.S. Cellular Arena is part of the Wisconsin Center District.

Frank Gimbel, who serves as the chairman of the Wisconsin Center District says he agrees with much of Donovan's proposal regarding improvements to downtown Milwaukee. However, Gimbel notes that improvements are expensive and they're often paid for with tax dollars. He says there is no need to demolish the U.S. Cellular Arena -- which is profitable. 

"I think the building is viable. It speaks to a part of the entertainment district that Alderman Donovan proposes. My view is the way to do that is to excite the people who live here and pay taxes here to want to do it and to be enlisted in the effort to do it," Gimbel said.

Donovan also focused on MacArthur Square, which he calls an embarrassment. 

"When you think of all the people, the thousands and thousands of people that work within a block of that particular locality and yet it's a hangout for vagrants, that's sad," Donovan said.

Meanwhile, Gimbel says MacArthur Square is not on the top of his list.

"In terms of what we've been talking about here, and that is expanding the convention center, building a new athletic facility, I wouldn't put MacArthur Square on the top of my list," Gimbel said.

Both Donovan and Gimbel say another priority needs to be an expansion of the Delta Center so Milwaukee can attract bigger conventions.