Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Pabst brewery redevelopment in Milwaukee

The Common Council is set to vote on July 26 on whether to contribute $41 million of the estimated $317 million it will cost to renovate and develop the PabstCity project at the site of the old brewery. When completed, the complex will reportedly feature a House of Blues, GameWorks, and a 10 screen movie theater.

The project, while still likely to pass, has run into some opposition due to its taxpayer subsidy. Proponents like Mayor Tom Barrett counter that the brewery currently only contributes $250,000 in property taxes, but supposedly will contribute $2.7 million once the project is up and running.

At this point, I'm not convinced that taxpayers need to be contributing tens of millions of dollars to this project. Obviously the city has an obligation to maintain the infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, utilities), but this subsidy would go well beyond that. If the developers can't come up with enough funds from investors, then maybe the market isn't there for this project to work.

Meanwhile, our beautiful city hall is falling apart. The Council recently approved a $70 million plan to renovate the building which currently has scaffolding around it to protect pedestrians from falling debris. Maybe we ought to get our priorities straight and get this done before contributing tax dollars to a project that in the end may only take business away from existing businesses.


At 7/14/2005 01:47:00 PM, Blogger cambridgeJason said...

Is the Pabst Brewing Co. providing money for the naming rights of this new complex? If not, perhaps the developers should rethink naming it after this crappy brew and an awful company (let’s not forget that they screwed over many of their former employees by dropping their well-deserved pensions). I like SprecherCity, a brewery that shares both a history and future in Milwaukee.

At 7/14/2005 01:51:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Actually, Pabst Brewing sued in federal court to have the name Pabst removed from the project. Not sure if that's been resolved or not.


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