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Milwaukee, WI: Downtown Theater Project Adds More Restaurant Spaces

Posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 3:19 PM

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The plan for a new movie theater in downtown Milwaukee still has a commitment from Marcus Theatres that was announced in 2010, but the project is being modified slightly by the building's developer to include more restaurant spaces and a smaller office tower, according to an article published recently in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Marcus Corp. still wants to develop a downtown Milwaukee cinema, but the project also would include three restaurants and a smaller office tower than originally proposed, under a preliminary plan unveiled Monday.

The project would be on 2.6 acres, overlooking the Milwaukee River, west of N. Water St., between E. Knapp and E. Cherry streets. It's proposed by Rainier Properties, led by Bruce Westling and Gary Grunau, and would include a small county-owned parcel in the Park East strip.

The cinema plan first surfaced in 2008, and Marcus in 2010 made a formal commitment to the project. The mixed-use development also was to include around 300,000 square feet of offices.

But Rainier hasn't landed any office tenants, which are needed to obtain financing.

So the plan has been redrawn. It now calls for 76,500 square feet of office space on eight stories at the site's northern portion, with the entrance at the corner of Water and Cherry streets.

The theater, with six to eight screens, would have its entrance at the corner of Water and Knapp streets, with a first-floor lobby and cinemas and concessions on the second floor.

The plan also proposed three separate ground-floor restaurant spaces, of 15,000 square feet, 14,000 square feet and 7,000 square feet, Westling said. It also would have a 547-space parking structure, a riverfront promenade and a small park on the southwest portion of the site.

Click the Read link below for the full article. The article mentions that the best-case scenario for the start of the project would be "about a year."

Once filled with single-screen movie theaters, downtown Milwaukee has been absent a movie theater since the Grand Cinemas closed in 1995 (read article). The nearest movie theaters still operating today are the Landmark Oriental and Landmark Downer, which are both about 2-3 miles away from this new theater's location.

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