Visualize Milwaukee

My goal is to help Visualize Milwaukee. In particular, I want to keep a pulse on some of the commercial and residential real estate in the area. I have a slant towards revitalizing underutilized properties and areas within the city of Milwaukee. Welcome to Visualize Milwaukee! Let me know what you think, or if there are any areas you want me to cover.

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

I am software engineer by trade and enjoy real estate development as way to improve our community and always see something new each day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Milwaukee's Third Ward Plaza Delayed - Bamboo in the City

Bamboo in the City?

One area I haven't discussed yet is Milwaukee's Third Ward. That is mostly because everyone knows about it! There are bars, art, stores, the Milwaukee Public Market, and a trillion spectacular new condos. But in reality, there is still open space and foot traffic isn't exactly hopping (parking is always full so customers are there!). There has been a proposal floating around the city council for the past year or two to develop a new Bamboo Plaza in the area. I do think this plan would really help the area have a "stick around for awhile" feel to it. Not to mention walking around in living Bamboo is a real treat which I've only had in Bejing China. It was apparently nearly approved before being delayed this month due to some cost and conflicting contruction issues (

Who should pay for a project like this? DCD was originally set to foot the bill utilizing tax revenue from all the new Condo development. Who benefits more from this? The condo developers are already committed, so it doesn't seem like the city really needs this to attract development. Though a little extra investment by the city may help ensure those tax dollars keep rolling in. I wonder if that nearly $1M price tag wouldn't be better spent on another part of the city. Say, adding the bamboo near RiverWest which is still struggling with crime and could use another infusion of excitement. Or maybe along one of the concrete rivers flowing through the city today (for example, Lincoln Creek around Villard and Teutonia). I'll bet the Villard Avenue BID would appreciate it.


Blogger Dave said...

They can't use that tax revenue in Riverwest. The TIF is specifically for that area.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bamboo Park is absurd.

First, it is incredibly expensive. The $1 million + price tag, including design costs, is ridiculous. Most communities do not spend that to develop a large (e.g., 40 acre) park.

Second, this is a quarter acre on a dead-end street. I didn't realize Milwaukee was so flush with cash.

Third, the other community with a similar park (Atlanta) reports that it attacts two types of interested parties: rats and bums. Apparently the steam is attractive to some.

Finally, the neighbors vigorously oppose the park. Considering its location, why is the City pushing this down their throats.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous a civil engineer said...

China is a world away from Milwaukee. If we want something to be a unique Milwaukee experience, let's make it something that fits into the culture and environment. As absurd as it seems the one piece of architecture we have that is true to Milwaukee's heritage is the Potawatomi casino. Why is this?

What can we do to make pretentious journalists at the Milwaukee Journal understand this?

2:00 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

So, I gather nobody likes the Bamboo here!
Could you explain how the Potawatomi Casino architecture has anything to do with Milwaukee? Potawatomi, yes. I big parking garage with a flame on top - not so much. What do you propose we do with that $1M dollars? Where?

Besides, what is the culture of Milwaukee we should showcase? Change is good, I think. I'd rather try something new (condos and a bamboo park) than leave something old sitting around (a dilapidated brewery/factory with broken windows).

As for the journalists... maybe you could take them with to gamble away the $1M away at Potawatomi then show them how great it is to sleep with the rats in a Bamboo park? At least then the proceeds will get scattered around Wisconsin.

3:18 PM  

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