BID Sells Streetcar-Related Development
Downtown BID guide shows business support, sells vacant land along streetcar route.
UPDATE: The guide described below is now live on MilwaukeeDowntown.com.
It’s about to get a lot easier to find underutilized land or vacant commercial space in Downtown Milwaukee. Milwaukee Downtown, a self-taxing business improvement district, is producing a Milwaukee Streetcar Development Guide under the direction of the BID’s economic development director Matt Dorner. Dorner unveiled a draft of the plan at a meeting of the streetcar implementation committee this morning and plans to publish the guide on the BID’s website later today.
The guide was made following similar efforts in other cities that have recently built streetcars, including Atlanta, Kansas City and Tucson. It will highlight approximately 50 acres of land that the district has labeled as underutilized, as well as a number of vacant commercial spaces. It will be targeted at developers, real estate brokers, potential tenants and existing property owners. Describing how it might be used, Dorner offered the example of a company interested in being located near the stop at the Milwaukee Public Market, that could look at the website and quickly see all space available for lease.
Department of City Development commissioner Rocky Marcoux expressed support for the guide, noting that it lends credibility because it’s not coming directly from city government. The involvement of Milwaukee Downtown “speaks volumes” about the streetcar project, and they’ve done an “incredible job… helping us politically and practically in moving the streetcar forward,” Marcoux declared. He noted that the involvement of the BID signals that some of the biggest employers in the city, including Northwestern Mutual and Johnson Controls, are on board with the streetcar. As for the new guide itself, Marcoux predicted “everyone will use it” and praised its universal appeal, noting it will help everyone from brokers and developers to existing property owners and entrepreneurs.
Milwaukee Downtown’s membership is constituted of downtown commercial property owners that have elected to tax themselves. The BID coordinates a wide number of events and programs including Downtown Dining Week, Downtown Employee Appreciation Week, the summer trolley loop, the Public Service Ambassadors and graffiti removal crews. The organization is led by CEO Beth Weirick.
The official Milwaukee Streetcar groundbreaking is expected this spring. Marcoux noted that Mayor Tom Barrett will hold an event at an “appropriate time.”
What’s in the way? As Tim Clancy of the Concord Group detailed in his progress report at the meeting, much utility relocation works remains, but things are progressing on-schedule and on-budget for service to begin in 2018. The city, through private contractors, completed a substantial amount of Milwaukee Water Works infrastructure relocation in late 2015 and will wrap up their work in the spring. In addition, Clancy noted that he expected to receive a final budget and plan from We Energies in the next 30 days for their relocation work. According to Clancy, We Energies has applied to the Public Service Commission to get the regulatory approvals needed to relocate their lines and is negotiating a final agreement with the City Attorney’s office. Additional agreements will be signed soon with the telecommunications companies that have relocation needs.
Clancy noted in his presentation that $9.1 million has been spent so far out of the project’s $123 million budget. The lakefront extension, which received a federal grant to complete its funding in October, is scheduled to be at 30 percent design completion in the next 30 days.
Urban Milwaukee Streetcar Coverage
- Pennsylvania Company Wins Streetcar Contract – Jeramey Jannene – November 13th, 2015
- City Accepts $14 Million Federal Streetcar Grant – Michael Horne – October 29th, 2015
- Anti-Streetcar Petition Dies – Bruce Murphy – August 28th, 2015
- Scott Walker Aids Milwaukee Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – July 13th, 2015
- Streetcar Construction Starts in October – Jeramey Jannene – July 10th, 2015
- The Strange Politics of Anti-Streetcar-ites – Bruce Murphy – June 18th, 2015
- Anti-Streetcar Petition Drive Fails – Bruce Murphy – March 5th, 2015
- Streetcar Signing Is Quite a Celebration – Michael Horne – February 13th, 2015
- Milwaukee Streetcar Approved – Jeramey Jannene – February 10th, 2015
- Who’s Lobbying for the Streetcar – Bruce Murphy – February 5th, 2015
- Will Streetcar Help the Inner City? – Bruce Thompson – February 4th, 2015
- City Attorney Says Streetcar Petitions Might be Moot – Bruce Murphy – January 30th, 2015
- Millennials And The Streetcar – Bruce Thompson – January 27th, 2015
- Streetcar Responses Show Wide Support – Jeramey Jannene – January 22nd, 2015
- Streetcar Approved, but Held – Jeramey Jannene – January 21st, 2015
- Koch-Funded Group Backs Anti-Streetcar Drive – Bruce Murphy – January 20th, 2015
- Streetcar Backers Say They Have the Votes – Jeramey Jannene – January 20th, 2015
- Who is Funding the Anti-Streetcar Effort? – Bruce Murphy – January 20th, 2015
- Will Anti-Streetcar Referendum Succeed? – Bruce Murphy – January 9th, 2015
- The Story Behind the Streetcar Referendum – Michael Horne and Bruce Murphy – January 8th, 2015
- Council Delays Streetcar Until January – Jeramey Jannene – December 16th, 2014
- Committee Takes No Action on Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – December 10th, 2014
- Committee Approves Milwaukee Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – December 9th, 2014
- RACM Approves Tax Funding for Streetcar – Michael Horne – December 8th, 2014
- How to Sell the Streetcar – Michael Horne – November 28th, 2014
- Next Stops for the Streetcar – Michael Horne – November 24th, 2014
- Barrett Moving Forward with Streetcar – Jeramey Jannene – November 18th, 2014
- Who Will Be Streetcar Operator – Michael Horne – May 8th, 2014
- A Streetcar Named Cooperation? – Dave Reid – April 27th, 2014
- How a Streetcar Spurs Development – Angie Schmitt – November 3rd, 2013
- Streetcar Social – Michael Horne – September 12th, 2013
- Mayor Says Streetcar is a “Trojan Horse” – Michael Horne – April 17th, 2013
- Whoops, We Changed Our Mind – Dave Reid – September 27th, 2012
- Battle of the Bobs: Donovan vs Bauman Streetcar Press Conference – Jeramey Jannene – May 18th, 2012
- Important Hoan Bridge and Milwaukee Streetcar Meetings This Week – Dave Reid – November 14th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar Passes Common Council – Jeramey Jannene – July 26th, 2011
- Keep the Milwaukee Streetcar Moving Forward – Jeramey Jannene – July 8th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar at Apex – Jeramey Jannene – June 16th, 2011
- Milwaukee Streetcar Takes Key Step Forward – Jeramey Jannene – May 6th, 2010
- Milwaukee Streetcar Meeting This Thursday – Jeramey Jannene – October 5th, 2009
- Milwaukee Streetcar Routes Unveiled by Mayor Barrett – Jeramey Jannene – September 21st, 2009
- Milwaukee Streetcar Round-Up – Jeramey Jannene – April 19th, 2009
- Vote for your Favorite Milwaukee Streetcar Route – Jeramey Jannene – March 25th, 2009
- Design Your Own Streetcar Route – Jeramey Jannene – March 23rd, 2009
- Streetcars Coming to Milwaukee – Dave Reid – March 14th, 2009
More about the Milwaukee Streetcar
For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
- Garbage Truck Crashes Into Streetcar - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 27th, 2023
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Has $16 Million Plan For Downtown Plaza - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 10th, 2023
- Transportation: Feds Don’t Select Milwaukee For Streetcar Grant - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 11th, 2022
- Transportation: Art Campaign Highlights Milwaukee, New York Teens - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 1st, 2022
- Transportation: City Seeking Grant For Streetcar Convention Center Extension - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 15th, 2022
- The Hop Returns To Full Service - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 21st, 2022
- Transportation: Streetcar Service Goes From Bad To Worse - Jeramey Jannene - May 3rd, 2022
- Transportation: Should National Avenue Rebuild Include Plans for Streetcar? - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 8th, 2022
- Transportation: Maintenance Issues Reduce The Hop’s Schedule - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 4th, 2022
- Transportation: Congress Extends Streetcar Grant - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 16th, 2022
Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here
Political Contributions Tracker
Displaying political contributions between people mentioned in this story. Learn more.
- December 23, 2020 - Tom Barrett received $500 from Rocky Marcoux
- December 22, 2018 - Tom Barrett received $500 from Rocky Marcoux
- December 29, 2017 - Tom Barrett received $500 from Rocky Marcoux
- March 1, 2017 - Tom Barrett received $400 from Rocky Marcoux
- February 22, 2017 - Tom Barrett received $400 from Beth Weirick
- February 18, 2016 - Tom Barrett received $500 from Beth Weirick
Eyes on Milwaukee
Redevelopment Plans Dropped For Downtown Post OfficeOct 20th, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene
Dairy-Centric Apartment Building Wins Plan Commission ApprovalOct 18th, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene
Triciclo Peru Owners Could Buy Vliet Street BuildingOct 18th, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene
5 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: BID Sells Streetcar-Related Development”
These are practical and very old techniques for selling in the Milwaukee area: residential subdivisions followed streetcar lines, and then publicized lots featuring proximity to the routes or even potential extension of routes (see real estate sections of late 19th and early 20th C. newspaper adverts. in the English and German language newspapers)
I wonder if we will put up some horse stables next in downtown Milwaukee.
@Ben. Oh that cute 19th century meme again. Just remember your horseless carriage was invented in the 19th century as well!
has anyone seen/heard how the streetcar will pass over the St. Paul bridge? I assume there will need to be some kind of movable cable structure and a reworking of the bridge leaf for the tracks. This could complicate openings, would it not?
@Matthew – Yes, the overhead wire system will need a special accommodation for when the bridge opens. That said, the streetcar running over the bridge was long-anticipated and the bridge itself has been built with the alignment for the tracks already in place. You can see the alignment if you look at our photos from the ribbon cutting. http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/06/12/st-paul-bridge-is-reopened/