What's next for Milwaukee's O'Donnell Park? County Board committee hears results of a study



MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- What does the future hold for Milwaukee's O'Donnell Park? A Milwaukee County Board committee was updated on Tuesday, September 9th. This summer, we learned of O'Donnell Park's potential sale to Northwestern Mutual, and on Tuesday, results of a study were released.

On Tuesday afternoon, the future of Milwaukee's O'Donnell Park was the topic of discussion for a Milwaukee County Board committee, as Milwaukee County's comptroller briefed a committee on the options that have been explored.

"We looked at three things: Sell the O`Donnell Park facility, retain the facility and rebuild the structure around the year 2035, which means rebuilding the parking structure that is there, and three, retain the facility and demolish the parking structure at the end of the useful life, but retain the plaza and maintain the site as a park," Milwaukee County Comptroller Scott Manske said.

This past July, selling the facility looked to be the popular option. That's when Northwestern Mutual said it would buy O'Donnell Park, including the lakefront parking structure and pavilion buildings for $14 million -- minus about $1.3 million in repairs.

"So after extensive analysis of the current and future costs and revenues, the work group determined the purchase offer from Northwestern Mutual to be financially the most advantageous in the long run compared to the two other presented," Manske said.

But some County Board members worry the sale price is too low.

"I don`t know if anybody has the true answer as far as what the real value is," Milwaukee County Supervisor Mark Borkowski said.

Another Board member tapped into history to talk about a future price, pointing out a previous deal which involved land owned by by Milwaukee County and the city of Milwaukee that yielded a higher purchase price.

"There is precedent for getting a higher value, but in that precedent, it was the city of Milwaukee that captured that higher value," a Milwaukee County Board member said.

Those interested in the future of O'Donnell Park might consider attending a public meeting on the park's proposed sale to Northwestern Mutual.

That meeting is set for Wednesday, September 10th at 6:30 p.m. in the downtown Transit Center's Harbor Lights Room.

Below are some renderings showcasing Northwestern Mutual's proposed plan for the space:



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