Residents of southern Milwaukee County will see Franklin’s Crystal Ridge Ski Hill, which borders on Greendale, undergo a $3.5 million transformation that will bring several baseball fields, biking trails, skiing tracks and a restaurant.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for The Rock Sports Complex, developed by Franklin business operator Mike Zimmerman and located near South 76th Street and West Rawson Avenue.
The first phase of the project includes six baseball fields, a 3,500-square-foot sports-themed restaurant and bar, improvements to the ski hill, and a new BMX bike track, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. The restaurant and bar would open in March.
The second phase, which will start in a year, includes four softball fields, upgrades to the ski hill chalet and indoor and outdoor volleyball courts. A final phase might bring four fields for Little League football and lacrosse.
The plan might also include batting cages and soccer fields, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.
Under an agreement reached in August between Zimmerman and Milwaukee County, the 120-acre property would be leased for $25,000 a year for 15 years and a percentage of the profits from the sports complex will go to the county, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Payments from profits to the county would start at 5 percent for the lease's first five years, and then increase to 8 percent and 10 percent during the middle and final years of the lease, the newspaper said.
Milwaukee County earned $10,000 annually from Midwest Development Corp., which operates the current ski hill developed on a former landfill site. That lease expired in 2008 and has been renewed on a year-to-year basis, the Journal Sentinel said.
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