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Old March 21st, 2007, 04:32 AM   #21
UWMilwaukeeJay
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I like hard rock personally. I just love wearin' the T-shirts! but you're right, it is washed up.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 04:37 AM   #22
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Business leaders support keeping midwest airlines in the city; yet they fail to help support our downtown with development like this. I hate to bring politics in this discussion, but do you agree or disagree that big milwaukee leaders should step in. Then again, this project is very independent. Maybe I just really want a skyscraper bad and while doing so talk irrationally.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 07:02 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UWMilwaukeeJay View Post
Business leaders support keeping midwest airlines in the city; yet they fail to help support our downtown with development like this. I hate to bring politics in this discussion, but do you agree or disagree that big milwaukee leaders should step in. Then again, this project is very independent. Maybe I just really want a skyscraper bad and while doing so talk irrationally.
Well Jay you hit it right on the head. I don't think this is new material for any Milwaukee poster to read - Milwaukee's leaders in both the county and city levels are very slow and lethargic to move forward and to come to realizations about big projects not just in downtown, but also some instances countywide.

There is much bickering and much hassle over things that are new, trendy, and projects that would bring Milwaukee into possible limelight down the road. Council members and County supervisors are swayed by the smallest opposition, fearing for their jobs even though the majority sends the project their best wishes.

From what past projects have shown, and from some posts by members here on SSC, there is still constant questions concerning many issues that shouldn't be happening for another few years down the road. Subjects like our condo boom, the hotel boom this past year, various entertainment options swaying outside Water St. creating some hostilities. What the leaders fail to see is the constant flow of Illinois residents into SE Wisconsin, primarily to downtown Milwaukee. They buy our condos, they party at our festivals, they go to our plays, they patronize our venues. It has increased and will continue to increase every year from probably the early to mid 90s onward. There shouldn't be a fear of lack of interest in venues on Water St due to some outside the strip - there's more than enough people to fill them all. There shouldn't be questioning about condos or hotels being built. The condos are still being bought at ever-increasing prices, and hotels will be bustling with new attractions to the city and always-improving festivities during the summer months.

These beliefs have been sticking, no matter what the circumstance, and it will continue to be the status-quo until a newer generation takes the reigns of both city and county government. A generation that will look beyond the limited box and see a bigger picture - that will take other cities' inititatives and projects and integrate them into our own future. And a generation that will hopefully do something to control taxes in the CBD to help lure more corporations to locate offices here.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 04:14 PM   #24
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Well, in the case of the Ghazi project, the Barrett administration actively pursued Ghazi to submit a proposal for the site. Ghazi didn't just randomly show up. I wouldn't say that the leadership from our politicians is weak on this at all.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 08:27 PM   #25
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Yeah unfortunately I believe Planet Hollywood went defunct a few years back. That truly would have been an interesting venue downtown!
Is that sarcasm?
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Old March 21st, 2007, 08:43 PM   #26
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Is that sarcasm?
Take it as you wish my friend!

I think exit was trying just to name another popular national entertainment venue - there really isn't that many to list. So hey, PH had to come up on this thread at least once!!!
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:22 PM   #27
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Well, in the case of the Ghazi project, the Barrett administration actively pursued Ghazi to submit a proposal for the site. Ghazi didn't just randomly show up. I wouldn't say that the leadership from our politicians is weak on this at all.
Not only political leaders, business leaders can join too.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:31 PM   #28
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Is that sarcasm?
i was being sarcastic.. although i do miss planet hollywood
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 08:45 PM   #29
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How about a Big Boy?
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:02 PM   #30
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How about a Big Boy?
ohhh fantastic idea!
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:45 PM   #31
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lmfao jeez let's just settle for a Sonic and we'll all be pleased!
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 07:19 PM   #32
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http://www.biztimes.com/blogs/milwau...wntown-project

Ghazi kills tenant rumors for downtown project

By Andrew Weiland

Contrary to numerous recent media reports, The Ghazi Co. is not planning to bring a House of Blues, Hard Rock Café or an ESPNZone to its proposed downtown Milwaukee development.

Afshin Ghazi, president of the Charlotte, N.C.-based company, recently stomped on those reports while testifying before the city's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee.

The Ghazi Co. plans to build a $120 million complex on a two-acre, city-owned parking lot southwest of North Fourth Street and Wisconsin Avenue. The development would include 200 condominiums, a 175-room boutique hotel and 100,000 square feet of entertainment, restaurant and retail space.

The Common Council on Thursday granted an option on the site to Ghazi, so the company can further pursue the project and work to obtain tenants and financing for the development.

The entertainment and retail portion of the development is expected to provide a boost for the Midwest Airlines Center and the Shops of Grand Avenue, both of which are located across the street from the site.
However, Ghazi told the city committee that some recent media reports about the prospective retail tenants were incorrect.

"You have a very anxious media here in town," Ghazi said. "I had an interview with one of your local television stations. They asked me, 'What tenants have you spoken to?' I didn't tell them that I had spoken to anybody. I told them, 'I've spoken to only the core group of tenants we have in Charlotte in asking them in passing if they would like to go see Milwaukee or not. Those tenants include tenants like (Charlotte-based) Bar Management Group, which is a big company located in 50 markets around the country. I've passed it along to Fox Sports Grill, and that's about it. And lo and behold, I watch the news that night, and they said, 'Coming soon: House of Blues, Hard Rock Café, ESPNZone.'

"ESPNZone isn't doing deals, as far as I know. House of Blues was just bought out (by Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Live Nation Inc.) and I don't think they're doing deals. And Hard Rock Café is, to me, a worn-out concept. I'm not sure I'd even pursue them, even if I had the opportunity. So I have not talked to any of those tenants."
The rumors may have been fueled by stories about the project in The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee, Ghazi said.

"I get regular calls (from media) out of cities for any project we are working on," he said. "The Business Journal in Milwaukee has called me numerous times and because we haven't had control of the property, I have declined to comment every time. We have not said anything to The Business Journal, other than we are contemplating coming (to Milwaukee). And they, I think because of our project in Charlotte, have jumped to conclusions about what the project may be or is trying to raise controversy or anything else."

Familiar concerns

The House of Blues rumors raised some concerns in the community. House of Blues was perhaps the most controversial tenant of the proposed PabstCity development that was rejected by the Common Council in 2005. Milwaukee aldermen killed that project, which would have transformed the former Pabst brewery into an entertainment district with stores, restaurants, residences and office space, by rejecting $41 million in city assistance, most in the form of tax incremental financing (TIF).

Critics of the PabstCity plan said the city should not provide a subsidy for restaurants and entertainment venues competing with existing establishments. Some of the loudest critics were the owners of The Rave and Shank Hall, who feared that the House of Blues at PabstCity would have hurt their businesses.
Talk of the House of Blues in the Ghazi project rekindled some of those fears.

"Some folks in town have already pressed the panic button because the horrid word, 'House of Blues,' has been mentioned in newspaper articles in connection with this development," said Alderman Bob Bauman, who represents the downtown area.

Public benefits

The Ghazi project also would be subsidized by the city. The city plans to sell the property to The Ghazi Co. for $1, instead of the original $3.46 million asking price. City officials say the subsidy is appropriate because of the benefits of Ghazi's development and because contamination must be removed from the site. In addition, a We Energies steam line must be relocated from the site.

Also, Ghazi's project would provide several public improvements, including a public plaza, streetscaping and a new transit shelter.

Ghazi is not seeking TIF for the project, but may do so later.

At a recent Redevelopment Authority hearing, Ghazi talked about the types of tenants that actually might occupy the entertainment and retail space in his development. He mentioned Fox Sports Grill, a "boutique movie theater" and a bowling alley. The bowling alley would not be the typical Milwaukee bowling alley, according to Ghazi, who described the concept as "martini bar meets bowling alley."

Westlake Village, Calif.-based Fox Sports Grill is a chain of sports-themed restaurants. Fox Sports Grill is expected to be a tenant in Ghazi's EpiCentre development under construction in downtown Charlotte. EpiCentre will also have condos, a hotel, a bowling alley and a movie theater.

Ghazi told the Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee that the hotel in his Milwaukee development would be a limited service hotel.

"There are a ton of flags out there flying," he said. "Like the Hyatt Place, W Aloft, Hilton Conrad and several others that are out there floating around that haven't landed (in Milwaukee). That's a piece of the market where I think the next generation of hotels and business travelers and others are going to be going to. I think we've got the perfect site for one of them. I might not get the first one but, I don't want to guarantee anything, but I feel very confident we are going to get one of them."

Ghazi said the proposed development does not have an office component.

"I wish you had a stronger office market, because I'd be adding an office component to this," he said. "But the office market is very weak here, compared to what our risk tolerance is, so we don't have an office component to this project right now."

To view Ghazi's testimony before the city's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, visit http://helix.milwaukee.gov/ramgen/ct...rm?usehostname.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 08:09 PM   #33
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Some good points still came out of that discussion. At least he's focused on a more upscale look for the area across from the convention center. I like the hotel prospects also. If Aloft goes to Ruvin, Hyatt Place and Hilton Conrad are still very nice and attractive hotels to grab. I don't know if a Hilton Conrad would work with the Marcus owned Milwaukee Hilton right next door though.

Fox Sports Grill isn't a bad name to be floated around either. I guess Milwaukee will have to continue to wait for ESPN Zone, HRC, and HoB. It's not this round.

Funny part is HoB already triggered the same businesses I brought up in earlier posts that had the same pickle with PabstCity. I had a feeling they would have been going to complain their asses off if it was official.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 09:59 PM   #34
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Although I can't see his full testimony right now because I'm at work, I really like the transcript shown here. It definately isn't 100% positive but he has a very realistic and rational view of everything it seems.

That only makes me more confident that this could happen.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #35
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I also definitely appreciate his blunt comments on some points. At least he's doing his homework while preparing this project for the city.

I have a feeling if there's any project that's questionable right now but will get approved in the end it's this one. Just because of what I said prior and because the city wanted an excellent suitor for this prime land going to waste. Glad to see they found one.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:37 PM   #36
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Where will this one be in relation to the skyline?
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Old March 27th, 2007, 09:13 PM   #37
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Right next to the Hilton.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 09:15 PM   #38
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Where will this one be in relation to the skyline?
Next to the Hilton (20+ story brick building with large antenna on top and red light up Hilton sign)
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Old March 27th, 2007, 09:40 PM   #39
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Next to the Hilton (20+ story brick building with large antenna on top and red light up Hilton sign)
It would be behind the Hilton in the picture, not in front - just to help ya get a better visual.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #40
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If this gets built we can all say about time.
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