38 MEETINGSTODAY 01.16
the works that will change the cityscape are
a new sports and entertainment complex,
the Milwaukee Streetcar and the 32-story
Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons.
In addition, two new hotels, a Kimpton and
SpringHill Suites, are on schedule to open in
2016, and the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee recently unveiled its new rooftop event space.
“Excitement is building for 2016 as the
new Kimpton and SpringHill Suites add to
downtown hotel offerings and work begins on
large-scale civic projects,” says Paul Upchurch,
president and CEO of Visit Milwaukee.
The new multipurpose arena and sports
and entertainment district is a $500 million
project and will be the new gathering place
of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team,
but also a space for an array of events year-round. The live entertainment block will
serve as the forecourt of the arena and a
space for the community.
“We’re not just trying to build a new
home for the Milwaukee Bucks, but create
a 365-day attraction that will help revitalize
downtown Milwaukee,” says Peter Feigin,
president of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Expected for completion in 2017, the complex will be a few blocks from the Wisconsin
The development of the Milwaukee
Streetcar is also under way. Construction is
expected to start in spring 2016. The new
streetcar system is expected to begin con-
necting 80,000 downtown workers, 25,000
downtown residents, as well as millions
of annual visitors in 2018. The first phase,
a 2.5-mile route, will link the Milwaukee
Intermodal Station with hotels, businesses
Third Ward, Lakefront and Lower East Side
neighborhoods. The Third Ward was orig-
inally an industrial and warehouse district
in the 1800s and is now the hub of the city’s
culinary, arts and fashion scene.
“Milwaukee’s reputation as a sought-after
meetings destination continues to grow
with these investments for the future,”
New Downtown Hotels
Scheduled to open in 2016 in the Historic Third Ward is a 158-room Kimpton
hotel. The eight-story property will have a
chef-driven restaurant on the ground floor
and a rooftop bar and meeting space.
Another hotel debuting in 2016 is the
SpringHill Suites Milwaukee. The property
is located in the 97-year-old, fully renovated Commerce Building and will have 150
guest rooms. The new hotel will offer nearly
2,000 square feet of meeting space over two
rooms and can accommodate up to 200
people. The SpringHill Suites will be located
across from the Wisconsin Center and
connected via a sky bridge. The Wisconsin
Center has 188,696 square feet of exhibit
space and a 37,506-square-foot ballroom
that can accommodate 3,150 seated.
The 481-room Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
opened its new rooftop event space, VUE,
last October. The renovated space on the
21st floor, which was home to Polaris
restaurant for 30 years until it closed in
2009, offers circular views of the city. The
venue features a total of 4,000 square feet
of space that is divided into two—VUE East
and VUE West.
According to Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Marketing Manager Margarita Klikizos,
the spaces can be rented together, with the
smaller—VUE East—used as a prefunction
area, or each room can be used on its own.
The property, which is also connected to the
Wisconsin Center by enclosed walkways,
has over 33,000 square feet of meeting space
overall, including 23 meeting rooms and the
9,900-square-foot Regency Ballroom.
The 19-story hotel at Potawatomi Hotel &
Casino, located in the renewed Menomonee
Valley neighborhood, opened in 2014. While
the casino and event center have been open
since 1991, the new hotel has 381 guest
rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting
and event space. The largest of the seven
new meeting spaces at the hotel, the Serenity
room, measures 2,787 square feet and can
accommodate up to 300 for a reception.
In addition to the hotel, the Event Center—
one of the largest venues in Milwaukee—is
connected by a skywalk to both the hotel and
the parking structure. The center features over
32,000 square feet of space and can accommodate all kinds of events, from tradeshows and
receptions to seminars and galas, with a capacity of 2,500 reception-style or 1,200 seated.
The property also offers the 8,600-square-foot
Woodland Dreams Ballroom.
Arena development plaza
Historic Third Ward