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Marquette’s purchase of steakhouse connected to new athletic facility

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Marquette plans to tear down the newly acquired former Butch’s Steakhouse property on the east side of campus as part of the development of Marquette’s planned multi-purpose athletic facility.

“We have no plans to use the building in its current form,” University Spokesman Brian Dorrington said in a statement. “Earlier this year, we announced our plans to collaborate with the Milwaukee Bucks to construct a new multi-purpose, co-curricular facility that supports elite-level intercollegiate and professional athletics, as well as academic research. The purchase of this new property is connected with these plans.”

Butch’s Steakhouse was open for over 30 years until it closed Feb. 28. Former owner Butch Schettle plans to open a non-steakhouse restaurant in the Milwaukee area soon.

Marquette purchased the one-acre property at 555 N. James Lovell St. for $690,000 as part of a continued effort to expand to the east. Earlier this year, the university spent $9 million on an 4.6-acre property at 8th and Michigan streets previously owned by the state.

“The purchase of this property continues our long-term commitment to develop the east side of our campus, which connects us closer to downtown and our many partners in the region,” Dorrington said.

Associate Vice President and University Architect Lora Strigens said this purchase creates more future flexibility and echoed Dorrington’s sentiment that it creates an increased opportunity for urban connections. She also said Marquette is exploring the use of the Butch’s Steakhouse property and the adjacent land at 8th and Michigan streets for the development of the facility.

University President Michael Lovell announced the construction of this new athletic performance research facility in his first presidential address at the end of January. The building will have indoor playing fields for the lacrosse and soccer programs, an indoor track and an athletic performance research facility. A combination of philanthropic gifts, corporate partnerships and research grants will cover the cost of the project.

The project, in its planning stage, should break ground in the coming months. Construction will take an additional 18 to 24 months and two current buildings on the site will be demolished.

“We hope that any development project that we embark upon at Marquette contributes positively to the overall experience for students, faculty and staff,” Strigens said. “New building projects provide an opportunity for us to express our identity and add to the vitality of our campus environment and the surrounding area.”

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