Ballpark Commons


Ballpark Commons Development

On February 6, 2018, the Franklin Common Council moved to approve the TID No. 5 Development Agreement between the City of Franklin and BPC Master Developer, LLC, together with an additional municipal services cost agreement, a personal guaranty, and a disbursing agreement for Ballpark Commons.  Ballpark Commons is a mixed-use, $130,000,000 development at and in the vicinity of the Rock Sports Complex located at 7900 Crystal Ridge Drive in the City of Franklin, Wisconsin. The project encompasses over 200 acres (including the existing Rock Sports Complex) and will feature a 4,000-seat stadium, commercial and retail businesses, restaurants, residential apartments, and various entertainment and active lifestyle features.  Below are the final TID No. 5 Closing Documents/Development Agreements, etc. for Ballpark Commons Development in Franklin, Wisconsin:

-TID No. 5 Development Agreement Between the City of Franklin & BPC Master Developer, LLC - Ballpark Commons - Franklin, WI
-Continuing Guaranty (Unlimited)
-TIF Funds Disbursing Agreement
-Junior Mortgage
-Memorandum of Development Agreement Between Zim-Mar Properties, LLC and the City of Franklin, WI
-Memorandum of Development Agreement Between BPC County Land, LLC and the City of Franklin, WI
-Municipal Services Agreement - Ballpark Commons - Franklin, Wisconsin
-Memorandum of Understanding Between BPC Master Developer, LLC, Milwaukee County, and the City of Franklin
-Confidentiality Agreement

The development is expected to begin construction in 2018.  Descriptions and images are presented to provide an overall sense of the project, but are subject to change.  
 

Ballpark Commons Development, vicinity of the Rock Sports Complex located at 7900 Crystal Ridge Drive, Franklin, WI

In 2014, a due diligence analysis of over 500 acres near the intersection of 76th Street and Rawson Avenue was conducted to explore development potential of what is now known as Area A (Graef, 2015). The area, including lands now proposed for the Ballpark Commons development, were also considered for a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District (See TIF Districts at bottom of this page) to support infrastructure costs associated with potential development scenarios. This section of the City had previously been identified for growth as part of the Franklin Frist Development Plan (R.A. Smith, 2001).

Information about the Ballpark Commons development and its status are outlined below. This is intended to be a working tracking of the project and will be updated as necessary.

  Ballpark Commons 2017 Site Plan


Project Elements

  • North of West Rawson Avenue 

-An outdoor baseball stadium is proposed, with a total capacity of approximately 4,000 spectators, including about 2,500 seats. The stadium would serve a minor league team affiliated with the American Association of Professional Baseball and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee baseball team, a Division I program. The stadium could also host baseball tournaments and other events, and may include some associated retail uses.

-An indoor sports facility is proposed with attached retail and restaurant space.

-An indoor/outdoor Golf Center is proposed for year-round activity with associated retail and restaurant space.

-Retail and restaurant buildings on out-lots and in proximity to other buildings.

-A multi-story mixed-use commercial building to include restaurant/retail space on the ground floor with office uses above.

-Mixed-use buildings with ground floor retail/restaurant spaces and apartments on upper floors are proposed.

-Much of the existing Rock Sports Complex would remain including the ball fields, ski hill, and umbrella bar with the opportunity to include additional uses like concerts/live music, sand volleyball, etc.

-The existing BMX track would be removed or relocated on site.

-Sidewalks and extension of the Oak Leaf Trail are proposed. 


 

Ballpark Commons 2017 Site Plan - North Rendering
  

  • South of West Rawson Avenue 

-Mixed-use commercial buildings with potential for ground floor retail and restaurant spaces and office or luxury residential apartments on the upper floors (up to 70 units) are proposed.

-A hotel up to five stories near West Loomis Road.

-Approximately 300 apartments

-Six, three-story buildings are proposed. The unit mix would include primarily one- and two-bedroom units, some with a den. Buildings would include underground parking with surface lots for overflow and guests.

-The area is also envisioned to include a clubhouse, pool, passive recreational uses such as a skating pond, shelter, greenspace/openspace, and trails.

-Sidewalks and future extension of the Oak Leaf Trail are proposed.

-A minimum 100’ building setback from the Stone Hedge Subdivision (including a 60’ wide and 8’ high berm and vegetation) is proposed. 
 

Ballpark Commons 2017 Site Plan - South Rendering

Project Status

A timeline of project specific actions from the "Concept Review" all the way through to the approval of the Development Agreement for Ballpark Commons is outlined below. 

January 11, 2016:  The Common Council held a Concept Review for the proposed development upon application by Zim-Mar Properties LLC and The Rock Sports Complex LLC. The public was invited to attend and comment on the project.

February 1, 2016:  Mr. Zimmerman, Mr. Marso, Zim-Mar Properties LLC, and Mr. John Dargle, Jr., Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Parks submitted an application to amend Planned Development District (PDD) No. 37 (The Rock Sports Complex), and a Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) amendment application, in support of the proposed Ballpark Commons project. (see March 17, 2016 entry for details)

February 2, 2016:  The Common Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Zimmerman Ventures, LLC regarding the Ballpark Commons development.

February 16, 2016:  The Common Council authorized staff to engage Ehlers & Associates, Inc. for Tax Incremental District services related to the Ballpark Commons development.

March 1, 2016:  The Common Council authorized staff to execute an agreement with Melaniphy & Associates, Inc. for independent market analysis services related to the Ballpark Commons development.

March 17, 2016:  A public hearing regarding the proposed amendment to PDD 37 was held. The Plan Commission recommended approval of the proposed amendment to PDD 37 and to the City’s CMP. The Plan Commission's recommendation was forwarded to the Common Council for consideration on April 4th. See the Plan Commission Submittal. A full version of the plan submittal packet is available on the Plan Commission page.

April 4, 2016:  A public hearing regarding the proposed amendment to the City’s CMP was held. The Common Council approved the proposed amendment to the City’s CMP and amendments to PDD 37 with conditions.  Detailed submittals are available on the Common Council page noted below.  Note that abutters to the property successfully filed petitions to protest the zoning changes associated with PDD 37.  Following protest petition rules, a super-majority vote was required and met for approval. 

June 6, 2016:  At a Committee of the Whole meeting, the Common Council received an update on the status of the Ballpark Commons development proposal from staff.  No action taken.

June 7, 2016:  The Common Council voted to receive and place on file the update on the status of the Ballpark Commons development proposal offered by staff during the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 6, 2016.

June 27, 2016:  The Franklin Economic Development Commission voted to approve a motion to recommend that the Common Council move forward at a reasonable pace that balances the needs of both the developer and the City to take advantage of those opportunities presented by the developer and supported by the developer's market study team at Moegenburg Research and substantially supported by the City's market research firm Melaniphy & Associates.  Said opportunities include but are not limited to, the stadium and sports complex which will drive residential, restaurant, recreational, and commercial development at this important area in Franklin.

June 28, 2016:  Three items related to the Ballpark Commons development proposal were on the agenda for the Common Council meeting.

July 25, 2016:  The Franklin Economic Development Commission discussed the Ballpark Commons Development Proposal Tax Incremental Financing Feasibility Study Report by Ehlers & Associates, LLC.  No action taken.

July 27, 2016:  The Community Development Authority discussed the Ballpark Commons Development Proposal Tax Incremental Financing Feasibility Study Report by Ehlers & Associates, LLC.  No action taken.

August 18, 2016:  A Joint Review Board Meeting was held regarding the proposed creation of Tax Incremental District No. 5 in the City of Franklin, a district including the Ballpark Commons development proposal.  This was an organizational meeting.  The actual creation of the district will be considered by the Joint Review Board at a meeting scheduled for September 21, 2016.      

August 18, 2016:  A public hearing was held in conjunction with a Plan Commission Meeting to consider the Project Plan for the Creation of Tax Incremental District No. 5, a district including the Ballpark Commons development proposal.  The Plan Commission approved a resolution advancing the plan for consideration by the Common Council. 

September 6, 2016:  The Common Council passed a resolution approving the Project Plan for the Creation of Tax Incremental District No. 5, and establishing the boundaries for and the creation of Tax Incremental District No. 5, a district including the Ballpark Commons development proposal.  A copy of the presentation offered by Ehlers, the City's financial consultant, is available here.

September 20, 2016:  A motion to reconsider the Common Council's September 6th action passing the resolution approving the Project Plan for the Creation of Tax Incremental District No. 5, a district including the Ballpark Commons development proposal, failed due to the lack of a second.  

September 21, 2016:  The Joint Review Board passed a resolution approving the Project Plan for the Creation of Tax Incremental District No. 5, a district including the Ballpark Commons development proposal.    

February 21, 2017:  Upon request of the Common Council, staff provided an update on the status of the Ballpark Commons development.

March 6, 2017:  The Ballpark Commons development team provided a status update and presentation to the Common Council at a Committee of the Whole meeting.  The full presentation is available here.  No action was requested or taken at the meeting.

April 18, 2017:  The Common Council adopted Resolution No. 2017-7260 requesting Milwaukee County to initiate the [jurisdictional transfer] road discontinuance vacation process for roads planned for removal or relocation within PDD No. 37 (The Rock Sports Complex) Ballpark Commons development area. 

August 15, 2017:  The Common Council moved to authorize staff to execute a contract with Ehlers, Inc. for up to $17,000 to conduct additional pro forma review and financial analysis of potential changes to TID No. 5, a district associated with the Ballpark Commons development proposal. 

September 5, 2017:  The Common Council adopted Ordinance No. 2017-2291 to provide additional appropriations for engineering Ballpark Commons.

September 19, 2017:  The Common Council moved to authorize staff to enter into a professional services agreement, not to exceed $20,000, with a contractor to be selected by the City Engineer for Ballpark Commons Development Review Assistance.

January 9, 2018:  The Common Council adopted Ordinance No. 2018-2312 amending a section of the UDO PDD No. 37 (The Rock Sports Complex/Ballpark Commons) to revise the District to allow additional uses as permitted uses, including but not limited to indoor/outdoor golf driving range, general retail, sports medicine, restaurants and drinking; to allow additional uses as special uses including but not limited to outdoor and indoor sports (non-motorized), entertainment, and general commercial office; to revise certain district standards including but not limited to building height limits; to include additional more detailed site information pertaining to public and private infrastructure; and to allow a 3-month extension of the first building permit time limit in condition No. 27 in PDD No. 37.  The Common Council also adopted Resolution No. 2018-7339 imposing conditions and restrictions for the approval of a special use for a proposed outdoor baseball/soccer stadium use upon property located at 7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive (Ballpark Commons).  The Common Council further moved to adopt the Standards, Findings and Decision of the City of Franklin Common Council upon the application of the Rock Sports Complex, LLC, for a special exception of certain natural resource provisions of the City of Franklin UDO, with the addition of amended language.

January 23, 2018:  The Common Council received and placed on file the presentation of the revised feasibility analysis by Ehlers, Inc. for TIF District No. 5, including the Ballpark Commons.  They also adopted Resolution No. 2018-7341 authorizing execution of a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of Milwaukee County providing snow clearance and maintenance services for areas of Crystal Ridge Road and Old Loomis Road during the development of the Ballpark Commons sports anchored mixed-use development.  The Common Council further adopted Resolution No. 2018-7342 consenting to Milwaukee County road discontinuance vacation for roads planned for removal or relocation within the PDD No. 37 (The Rock Sports Complex) Ballpark Commons development area. 

January 29, 2018:  The Common Council moved to authorize staff to retain special legal counsel to assist in the review, preparation, and negotiation of a development agreement as was discussed in closed session.

February 6, 2018:  The Common Council moved to approve the TID No. 5 Development Agreement between the City of Franklin and BPC Master Developer, LLC substantially in the form as presented to the Common Council at this meeting together with an additional municipal services cost agreement, a personal guaranty, and a disbursing agreement, as called for within the development agreement, with changes as may be approved by the Director of Administration, the City Attorney, and the Director of Finance & Treasurer, in consultation with Bond Counsel and Quarles & Brady Special Counsel.  Below are the final TID No. 5 Closing Documents/Development Agreements, etc. for Ballpark Commons:

-TID No. 5 Development Agreement Between the City of Franklin & BPC Master Developer, LLC - Ballpark Commons - Franklin, WI
-Continuing Guaranty (Unlimited)
-TIF Funds Disbursing Agreement
-Junior Mortgage
-Memorandum of Development Agreement Between Zim-Mar Properties, LLC and the City of Franklin, WI
-Memorandum of Development Agreement Between BPC County Land, LLC and the City of Franklin, WI
-Municipal Services Agreement - Ballpark Commons - Franklin, Wisconsin
-Memorandum of Understanding Between BPC Master Developer, LLC, Milwaukee County, and the City of Franklin
-Confidentiality Agreement

February 19, 2018:  The Common Council moved to direct the Director of Finance & Treasurer to proceed with the solicitation of Note Anticipation Notes authorized per Resolution No. 2017-7299 on September 19, 2017 authorizing the sale of up to $24.5 million in funding project costs included in the Ballpark Commons Development Agreement.  

For information about actions by the Common Council, check the Common Council page.  Information about actions by the Plan Commission is available on the Plan Commission page.  As available meeting agendas, packets, minutes and audio will be posted. 

TIF Districts

Tax increment financing (TIF) is the primary economic development tool made available by the State of Wisconsin for use by municipalities. TIF districts leverage the difference between taxes prior to the development (baseline taxes) and the expected increased taxes post development within a defined area. All taxes from within the district are collected. Existing baseline taxes continue to be allocated to taxing authorities (school, municipal, county, etc.), while the increment is used to pay down investments in infrastructure and other improvements deemed necessary for the development to occur. After a defined period of time, not more than 23 years, including available extension, the TIF is closed. All collections are then directed to taxing authorities, and as required by Wisconsin law, a portion of newly generated tax revenue must contribute to tax relief. Franklin has previously used TIF districts to create the Franklin Business Park and to attract Northwestern Mutual and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare to Franklin. More information on TIF districts is available from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue