This is the second part of a two part #1 Franklin Story of 2016.
Ballpark Commons made tremendous progress in 2016.
Of course, there was some, as athletes and sports analysts love to use a certain term, “adversity.”
When any project of this magnitude is proposed most assuredly there will be naysayers.
And from the “This is no way to fight City Hall” file, Example #2.
The level of negativity led Mike Zimmerman to express frustration in October.
Remember that cockamamie effort to derail the project completely that fell flat on its face?
But positive vibes could be felt starting in the middle of 2016.
Zimmerman (Mike, owner of the Rock Sports Complex), in a Monday email to the Milwaukee Business Journal, said “early signs are really good,” and he anticipates meeting all of the city’s conditions of approval for the project.
“We met with neighbors to tweak our design and address concerns they communicated, and most importantly, our negations with possible anchor tenants are progressing better than expected, which I believe further demonstrates the market will support the vision and project,” Zimmerman wrote.
What about the environmental issue?
The proposed TIF district gained unanimous approval in mid-August from Franklin’s Plan Commission after a roughly hour-and-a-half meeting. Five people spoke at the meeting, all in favor.
Prior to a big vote in early September…
If you drove by The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin in early August, you saw a long line of cars waiting to get into the entertainment center to take part in the 2016 Warrior Dash Wisconsin, which drew more than 5,700 participants. That is the kind of impact The Rock has had on southern Milwaukee County since Mike Zimmerman converted the former Milwaukee County landfill to the sports complex several years ago. Franklin is currently deliberating a $21 million tax incremental financing district that would pay for Ballpark Commons. Zimmerman wants to build a minor league baseball stadium and other developments. City funding would help towards the various costs of the project.
The Business Journal is in favor:
“This is a project that makes sense and deserves the approval of Franklin leaders. Zimmerman’s initial development of the site has transformed it to become a regional destination.”
The Franklin Common Council approved the TIF, then the move to reconsider the vote bombed.
And this was awesome news.
The Oak Leaf Trail, pictured above, is going to be extended.
It’s clear. Much work remains, but Ballpark Commons has momentum and is in far better shape today than it was a year ago.
THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2016
1) KAYLA’S PLAYGROUND CELEBRATES 1ST ANNIVERSARY and
GREAT STRIDES FOR BALLPARK COMMONS
2) FRANKLIN APPROVES SCHOOL REFERENDUM
3) ONE IKEA = TWO FRANKLINS
5) FRANKLIN’S BARN
6) FRANKLIN’S MAGICAL FOOTBALL SEASON FINISHES A BIT SHORT
8) IS FRANKLIN STILL A TAX HELL?
9) APARTMENTS IN FRANKLIN
10) BOMB THREAT AT FHS