Brooks leads Wisconsin Center District expansion

Marty Brooks, a member of Congregation Emanu-El B’Ne Jeshurun, is planning the expansion of the Wisconsin Center District.

“My wife and I have moved a number of times and every time we’ve sought out a synagogue,” Brooks said.

Located in downtown Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Center District’s $300 million expansion is to open in 2023.

Marty Brooks

Brooks, CEO of the Wisconsin Center District, started in the role nearly two years ago. It was assumed, since the opening of the Wisconsin Center building in 1988, that there would be an expansion effort, and he is now leading it.

Because this project will require much time and effort, Brooks uses his “morning shave” rule to guide his decisions.

“Every day when I shave and look at myself the in mirror, I lead my life in a way that when I make a decision … can I look at myself and support the decision that I made as being the right decision to make?” Brooks said.

Though both of Brooks’s parents are gone, he knows it would have made them feel good about the way they raised him, knowing that it is important to stay connected to Judaism.

Wisconsin Center District’s expansion

The Wisconsin Center District oversees multiple buildings including the Wisconsin Center, formerly known as the Midwest Express Center. The Wisconsin Center hosts events, conferences and other large parties year-round. The need for the expansion is needed for multiple events to occur on the same date, according to Brooks.

The current issue is that loading in and out of events kills prior and subsequent days. Therefore, the Wisconsin Center District is losing business with its limited dates. This expansion will be just short of double the current size, according to Brooks.

The expansion will have a transformational impact on the Milwaukee community, according to Brooks, including on hotels, bars and an economic impact on business downtown and surrounding towns.