Where to Live in Milwaukee: Transition Neighborhoods
My husband just accepted a job and I am baffled about where to live in Milwaukee. I would love to be in a transitioning neighborhood for both our financial benefit and the neighborhood's but as we have two young kids we can't take chances on safety. I thought you just might have some insight. We are looking for a single family home on a quiet street. Let me know if you've got any direction.
What a great question! My response turned out pretty long, so I hope you like reading!
Where is the job? How long does he want to drive?
How much safety and how quiet do you want your street to be? Transition neighborhoods by definition are a mix of people who lost a neighborhood they love, the crime and drug ridden people they lost it to, jobless, people who are banded together to drive improvements, and families who take a bit of risk to become part of the city rather than flee to suburbia. Only you can decide what the risk/reward tradeoff is for you family.
Where are you from? Have you lived in an urban city before?
Also, just to warn you, I am not a real estate agent. The suburbs may be the right place for you, but if not, there are some great areas to consider...
Bayview: this has seen a very trendy improvement over the past few years. You aren't going to get in early, but there are still good deals. Especially if you are handy enough to update a house with 1920's kitchen appliances! Crime is pretty low here. It is a mix of young couples and elderly, along with many who still have a hard time putting food on the table. Bayview even has their own summer party. Check out the Bash and click over to the link for the bayview neighborhood association here: http://www.bayviewbash.org
Brewers Hill: this area continues to see steady improvement. There are still some crack heads around, but there are also a lot of great renovation projects going on. Roots restaurant and the condos nearby are great highlights of this neighborhood. They are also improving parks and access. The view of Milwaukee from up here is quite special. Prices are already reflecting the improvement though, so don't expect a bargain price. Check out the neighborhood plan here: http://www.mkedcd.org/planning/cpc/brewershillharambee/index.html
Harley Davidson: a number of years ago Harley faced a difficult situation. The 'ghetto' had grown into HD headquarters neighborhood. Should they move (and abandon their city) or stay (and risk the lives of their employees)? Tough call. Well, HD decided to stay and got involved in improving the neighborhood. Things continue to improve here. There are some amazing homes which have been renovated. There are some really nice blocks, and the improvements are expanding. This neighborhood is still right in the middle of some rough areas, but the community involvement has helped to improve in pockets. This is a great place to find your risk/reward tradeoff. Stick to the already improved blocks or venture out a bit further to the edge of the mix. Hopefully, the 27th street SoHi district will eventually merge with the expanding scope of improvements here. Check out: http://www.mkedcd.org/planning/plans/nearwest/update.html
These are just a couple of the great neighborhoods working as a community towards revitalization. It is movements like these that show the strength of Milwaukee. There are many more. Drive around. Look for signs of improvement. Fresh paint. Businesses opening nearby. More flowers than weeds.
And for crime, don't forget to check out Milwaukee's online statistics map. This is a great resource to take the guess work out of the process. You select the crimes to view and find the right place for you. Check it out here: http://isdweb1.ci.mil.wi.us/compass/disclaimermap.html