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Coming Summer 2020: Space under I-794 near Milwaukee Public Market to host live music, events

Milwaukee Public Market

MILWAUKEE — There may soon be a new space near downtown Milwaukee to check out live music, games and more.

FOX6 News spoke with Paul Schwartz, Executive Director for the Milwaukee Public Market, who explained the market has been in ongoing discussions with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to put to use the portion of land underneath I-794 (just west of N. Water Street from the Milwaukee River to Clybourn Street).

Schwartz said when WisDOT rebuilt I-794 during 2014-2015, the state invested money into putting a general public space underneath the freeway. State officials added trees, lighting, retaining walls and fencing so the space could eventually be “activated.”

The Historic Third Ward Business Improvement District has now entered into a long-term lease agreement with WisDOT — and the hope is to put the space to use this coming summer.

Schwartz said his team is focused on coming up with ideas for the space. It could include live music, games and other activities. It could be a site where pickle ball or bocci ball is played. The team is even entertaining the idea of hosting food and beverage events — something that would draw food trucks or maybe a beer garden to the space.

While the activation of this space comes at a time when the city is gearing up for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Schwartz told FOX6 News the idea of activating this space had been in the works long before Milwaukee was announced as the host city.

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