Downtown Milwaukee Area Plan Update Kicks Off

Billions of dollars in investment and thousands of new residential units later, Milwaukee is ready to update the plan for its downtown.

March 4, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Downtown Milwaukee

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Jeramey Jannene reports on the initial push to update the Milwaukee Downtown Area Plan from the previous update approved in 2010. This would be third Downtown Plan update in as many decades, according to Jannene.

Milwaukee Downtown, the area business improvement district, is providing $100,000 to fund the process, and the city is chipping in $50,000. A previous initiative by MKE United has already completed some of the foundational work of building a "shared and inclusive vision for Downtown," explains Jannene.

The plan update is intended to respond to the area's change over the past decade:

“As you are all aware there have been significant changes to the downtown area in recent years,” said Department of City Development planner Kyle Gast to members of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on February 23rd. A DCD report says that, since the plan was last updated in 2010, there has been $3.5 billion in development and there are now 4,800 more residential units. 

According to Jannene, the city has implemented or begun development on four of eight catalytic projects targeted in the 2010 update.

Four community meetings are already scheduled, and the update process is expected to take in 14 months.

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