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Editor’s note: Ask and Answered is a new feature for the Racine County Eye. We’ll take readers questions about municipal issues they have east of the interstate and our columnist Missie Mauldin will answer them. If you have a question, email

The construction of an event center on 3.5-acres on the southeast corner of Lake Avenue and Gas Light Drive in Racine is the site currently being considered for the project. The $46 million project would come with hundreds of jobs, a possible minor league hockey team and a Milwaukee Bucks developmental franchise.

The Milwaukee Bucks haven’t given their final answer on the development franchise, that is expected to happen sometime after Thanksgiving. In the meantime, however, the city is putting together a finance package together.

But some in the community wonder about other possible sites.

Why can’t you build the arena at Pershing Park?

Great question!   While the space would be gorgeous, when we asked the Mayor’s Office if the space was considered they said the site wasn’t optimal.

Here’s what they had to say:

“We can’t build a hotel and conference center there because it’s a landfill and considered lakebed property.  No private sector businesses can be built on a lake bed.   Also, in order for our hotels to be considered a Conference Center, we need a total of 300 rooms and two parking ramps.   The new hotel and existing Harbourwalk Hotel gives you 300 rooms, plus two parking ramps and an additional five ramps within 2 blocks.”

Racine Mayor John Dickert vowed during a 2017 budget address to keep fighting to find a way to fund a $46 million hotel and event arena project in downtown Racine. A finance package including private funding is expected to be proposed sometime over the next few weeks.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.