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Downtown group wants arena site for dog park

COULD BRADLEY CENTER GO TO THE DOGS?

Tom Daykin Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | USA TODAY NETWORK – WISCONSIN After the new Milwaukee Bucks arena opens, the BMO Harris Bradley Center will be turned into rubble, and the space could be cleared to make way for new apartments, offices and other commercial uses. Or, that site could become a dog park — if Claude Krawczyk and hundreds of other downtown residents have their way.

Krawczyk, a local attorney, is leading a campaign by the Downtown Neighbors Association of Milwaukee Inc. to persuade the Bucks to create a playground and dog park, instead of commercial development, at the site north of W. State St., between N. 4th and N. 6th streets.

The nonprofit association, with more than 300 members, has launched an online petition drive for the park. The petition had more than 300 signatures as of Friday morning.

Perhaps the biggest complaint the association hears is from residents wanting a downtown park where they can let their dogs off the leash, said Krawczyk, chair of the group’s quality of life committee.

The group has been talking to the state Department of Transportation about a possible dog park on a lot the department owns beneath I-794, south of W. Clybourn St. between the Milwaukee River and N. Plankinton Ave.

But those talks have been proceeding slowly, said Krawczyk. So, a brainstorming session led to the Bradley Center petition.

That site would be much larger than the Clybourn St. lot, covering more than a city block.

The Bradley Center site is being targeted for a park, in part, because Krawczyk and other association officials believe it will be difficult for the Bucks to develop for commercial use.

The basketball club has so far discussed conceptual ideas. They include apartments, a hotel, offices and entertainment-oriented retail uses, such as restaurants and sports bars. An office building there would be largely isolated from most other larger downtown offices, which tend to be east of the river or along W. Wisconsin Ave., Krawczyk said.

Most of the bars and restaurants near the arena are on N. Old World Third St., or will be part of the entertainment center the Bucks are developing east of N. 4th St., between W. Highland and W. Juneau avenues.

Finally, an apartment or hotel site next to the future Bucks arena, and across State St. from the UWMilwaukee Panther Arena and the Miller High Life Theatre, would face challenges from traffic, crowds and noise tied to events at those venues, Krawczyk

See BRADLEY, Page 2D

After the new Milwaukee Bucks arena opens and the BMO Harris Bradley Center is rubble, apartments or offices could be built in its place. Or a dog park, if some downtown residents have their way. ANGELA PETERSON/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

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