Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 endorses Mayor’s streetcar plan
“The Milwaukee Streetcar is a game changer for downtown.”
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (December 8, 2014) – Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21’s board of directors has voted to support Mayor Barrett’s current $123.9 million streetcar plan. The motion to endorse the initiative was approved at the Dec. 4 board of directors meeting.
“Given the availability of significant federal funding and the potential for economic development in the central business district, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 supports Mayor Barrett’s streetcar plan, including funding the streetcar with tax incremental financing,” said Joe Ullrich, chair of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The Milwaukee Streetcar aligns with the goals of our organization’s strategic plan and is consistent with Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21’s prior support of regional public transit.”
Since 2005, over $2.6 billion has been invested in completed private and public projects in and around the central business district, spurring a dramatic turnaround that has re-established downtown as a vibrant center of activity. In addition, $980+ million is currently being invested in projects under construction, and another $1.2+ billion awaits in proposed projects – indicating a trajectory of growth for downtown Milwaukee.
“The Milwaukee Streetcar is a game changer for downtown,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “We look forward to seeing this catalytic project come to fruition and know the success of the starter system will prompt expansions to near-downtown neighborhoods and beyond for the benefit of our city and region.”
As demonstrated by cities with fixed transit, Mayor Barrett’s 2.5-mile system, which includes new connections to the Lakefront and Couture, would spur investment near and along the route, attract and retain businesses and talent, appeal to millennials who are less likely to own cars, and further establish Milwaukee as a world-class city that can compete globally.
“Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 recognizes that a modern streetcar system is one major component of an overall comprehensive and well-connected transportation system,” said Matt Dorner, economic development director of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The Milwaukee Streetcar will build upon downtown’s momentum and further increase our attractiveness from an investment perspective and more competitively position the city as a place to live, work, play and do business.”
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