Thursday, October 27th, 2016

I hear Brookfield is nice for a convention center


I understand the Huelsmans’ frustrations regarding the downtown Waukesha site that they want to develop into a convention center, but this time Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima is right.  A pay-as-you-go TIF is all the support (more, really) that a convention center in downtown Waukesha can ask for. Better that the Hueslmans’ lot remain vacant rather than taxpayers get stuck financing their dream house. If I have a complaint about Scrima in this process, it’s only that he built up false expectations that the convention center would be built.

There is no easy freeway access to the site in Waukesha and no real expectation that another small conference center in Southeastern Wisconsin is viable financially. Conventions are in decline nationally. If the city of Brookfield can swing the deal, good luck to them.

 Since no public funds have been committed for a convention center – a project HVS anticipates costing between $27 million and $37 million – Hazinski asserted interest from a private developer would likely be necessary for the project to come to fruition.

Sounds like Brookfield and Waukesha are on the same page.

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