MILWAUKEE -- A more detailed design plan for the new Milwaukee Bucks arena on Tuesday, May 17th was approved by the Milwaukee Common Council's Zoning Committee. Aldermen also approved plans for a nearby parking and residential complex, as well as the team's new practice facility.
Among the concerns expressed during the committee hearing was a question: Will the closed side of the arena be inviting to the public, or would it be a big, blank, imposing wall?
Some also called on the Bucks to make better use of the sun.
During the meeting, those holding signs in the audience had the same message. The design approved Tuesday by members of the Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee would have 13% to 15% of its power come from the sun.
"There`s so little solar power being used in the plan, as it stands, that we think there needs to be -- and there very easily could be -- an increase in that," Larry Hoffman with 350 Milwaukee said.
"Everybody is geared toward sustainability, so when there`s a great, efficient way to do it, we`re gonna do it," Bucks President Peter Feigin said.
The committee approved separate items, including detailed designs for the new arena, practice facility and a combined parking and residential complex. That development is the only one that didn't pass unanimously.
"They`ve already got the parking garage designed and, yet, they don`t even have a developer, much less, a specific design for the apartments," Alderman Nik Kovac said.
Bucks officials said their plan for new apartments is catching up to the parking design -- insisting that a large mural facing 6th Street will keep the development attractive until everything is done. As for the arena itself, critics questioned whether the north, or closed wall of the building is too drab.
Bucks officials said they'll spice it up with greenery and unspecified artwork.
"I think the tight site is limiting how much articulation this building is going to be able to have," Peter Martinez said.
"Art is in the eye of the beholder, so how do we create something that`s really aesthetically pleasing? It`s iconic, and it`s a process and we`ll get there," Feigin said.
The design plans will go before the full Common Council next week.
The Bucks arena groundbreaking has been scheduled for June 18th, and the arena will open in summer 2018. The Milwaukee Bucks will play another two seasons at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
To see renderings or learn more about the project, visit bucks.com/arena.