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O'Donnell Park's Future Remains Unclear

S Bence

It’s public knowledge that Northwestern Mutual would like to buy O’Donnell Park and its parking garage from Milwaukee County. 

The company wants additional parking for its employees, especially once their new downtown complex opens.

Selling the garage would relieve the county of its upkeep and add an infusion of cash to the budget. On the surface, it seems like a very good deal for both parties.

But Bruce Murphy, the editor and columnist at the online, points out that there are some things about it that just don’t add up.

"I think it falls into two areas," Murphy says. "One is what they're paying, and two is are there any restrictions on what Northwestern Mutual can do with it."

"There is a deed restriction on all the land north of Wisconsin Avenue running east to Lincoln Memorial Drive. But all the area of O'Donnell Park south of that, which is a goodly chunk of territory, there's no deed restriction. So there is nothing to stop Northwestern Mutual from doing whatever they want with it," he says.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.