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Proposal to add container bar to historic Bradford Beach Bathhouse draws criticism

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 07:52:09-05

MILWAUKEE — A proposal to add a container bar to the Historic Bradford Beach Bathhouse is drawing criticism from some, who say the new addition would become a barrier for people trying to access all that the beach has to offer.

"I think the project needs to stop," said activist Valeria Cerdal.

Activists and environmentalist groups from across the state of Wisconsin are raising concerns after developers proposed building a new rooftop container bar for the Bradford Beach Bathhouse.

"There's a lot of flags that are popping up and I think we should be paying attention to those," said Cerdal.

The plan would create an enclosed seating area made up of three components: a bar, seating areas within cargo containers and moveable tables, and an eating area. But some feel the addition wouldn't make the entire bathhouse accessible to everyone.

"Proposals to establish a lot of private businesses in these public facilities essentially makes these public resources less available to all citizens," said Cheryl Nenn with the Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

"People really need a place to hang out that offers space, for free and that there aren't tons of businesses that are trying to sell overpriced things," said Cerdal.

During a meeting Tuesday of the Milwaukee County park, energy, and environment committee, Jeremy Lucas, director of administration and planning for Milwaukee County Parks argued that the addition would provide public access to the community.

"The lease clearly requires public access. We will abide by that and I'm sure our partners will abide by that," said Lucas.

Others who are also involved with the project said the addition wouldn't hinder the public's access to the water.

"We're about inclusion, we're not trying to take things away from people. This is more of actually trying to add where more people can access the lakefront," said Dock Bradford partner, Nick Hyman.

The project next goes before the Lakefront Development Advisory Commission Wednesday night. Final approval would need to come from the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. There is no timetable for if or when that might happen.

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