Franklin continues to grow thanks to ROC Ventures

From today’s Milwaukee Business Journal:

Ballpark Commons building more attractions, hotel

With Franklin Field set to start drawing fans again on July 3, Ballpark Commons developer Mike Zimmerman is advancing three surrounding developments that he predicts will draw another 300,000 people a year.

Ballpark Commons is currently Franklin’s biggest tourism draw, attracting about 300,000 people a year, including to the neighboring Rock Sports Complex. Zimmerman’s ROC Ventures has more buildings on the way, and this month announced a $150,000-a-year agreement with the Franklin Tourism Commission to attract more people to businesses across the community.

“We’re in the tourism business, and they’re in the tourism business,” he said.

Breaking ground this summer will be the Luxe Golf Bays, a high-tech driving range similar to Topgolf. The front of that building includes an enclosed beer garden and two restaurants that Zimmerman’s firm, ROC Ventures, will operate. One will serve pizza, and the other tacos and tequila, he said. Luxe will take about 12 months to complete once construction starts, he said.

Nexgen Hotels of Schaumburg, Ill., has agreed to build an about 100-room Holiday Inn Express at Ballpark Commons. Standing north of Rawson Avenue on the west side of South 76th Street, that hotel could break ground in fall.

Those two projects could bring 200,000 to 250,000 more people a year, Zimmerman said.
Another 100,000 could come for the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, or MOSH, Performance Center indoor sporting facility. Currently under construction, that facility opens in January.

The new buildings will rise around the newly-renamed Franklin Field, a 4,000-seat stadium completed last year as the home field for ROC Ventures’ Milwaukee Milkmen team. Although this season was delayed because of the pandemic, the Milkmen and Chicago Dogs teams will both begin playing home games there in July.

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