City of Milwaukee Department of City Development
Press Release

City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 to host third meeting for Downtown Area Plan update

Milwaukee-area residents encouraged to attend a Community Open House on Dec. 7

MILWAUKEE (November 28, 2022) – The City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development (DCD) and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 have announced their third in a series of four public meetings for the new Downtown Area Plan, “Connec+ing MKE: Downtown Plan 2040.” The open house-style format will be held at 3rd Street Market Hall, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Milwaukee residents are encouraged to attend and voice their vision for the future of downtown Milwaukee.

The meeting will be held as a Community Open House where residents will have the opportunity to learn about proposed goals and strategies around the topics of housing, business, retail and entertainment, arts, culture and sports, transportation, public space, land use, and sustainability. Public input will be utilized to create an equitable plan designed with everyone in mind.

“Shaping the future of Downtown Milwaukee has been a collaborative process, and we are extending another invitation for folks to join in,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “The time is now to plan for Milwaukee’s growth and future. The Downtown Area Plan will set priorities, strategies, and approaches that will help determine what the city center of Milwaukee will look like in the decades ahead.”

“Milwaukee experienced a major renaissance following the Downtown Area Plan’s adoption in 2010. Looking at how far we’ve come is inspiring, but we know there’s more to do in ensuring Downtown is a place for every resident, in every neighborhood, to feel welcome and connected to our city,” said DCD Commissioner Lafayette Crump. “I’m looking forward to our next public meeting, where we will continue the conversation on building up our Downtown to ensure it is stronger, more equitable, and easily accessible to every Milwaukeean.”

Ongoing dialogue is also encouraged at www.connectingmke.com, where users can post ideas on a virtual wall, pin comments to an interactive map, and view comments from fellow Milwaukee residents. The feedback collected from these resources will help identify areas for growth and improvement, which will influence planning decisions. Comments can include notes about strengths, opportunities to grow, aspirations for an ideal downtown and suggestions for ways to measure the results of the completed plan.

“Downtown is the hub of our city and therefore should provide opportunities for all residents to live, work, play and do business,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The Downtown Plan process is an opportunity for our community to dream big and help shape downtown’s future for the next generation.”

Several major developments critical to Downtown’s growth were identified in the last Downtown Area Plan. These catalytic projects included: the addition of a fixed-rail streetcar system; the revitalization of Wisconsin Avenue; new circulation patterns, development and public spaces at the Lakefront Gateway; building a strong Broadway Connection to better link the central business district to the Historic Third Ward; developing the area around Pere Marquette Square with residential, commercial and entertainment uses; enhancing the Station Plaza/Milwaukee Intermodal Station area; improving accessibility to the underutilized MacArthur Square; and developing the Haymarket area into a mixed-use neighborhood with a public square.

Since 2010, more than $4.5 billion has been invested in completed private and public projects and more than $2.5 billion is currently under construction or proposed to start soon. The revised plan will include strategic updates to the 2010 plan that will guide land use decisions, redevelopment of key sites, and improvements to streets and public spaces over the next 10-20 years.

“Connec+ing MKE: Downtown Plan 2040” is expected to be released in 2023. Information on this innovative strategy to improve downtown can be found at www.connectingmke.com.

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