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.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Miller Park Area Revitalization

The area around the Milwaukee Brewer's Miller Park in West Milwaukee was pretty desolate for a long time. Canal Street was just a bunch of old dilapidated factories, train yards, and smoke stacks. That has been changing over the past few years though. Canal Street was given a boost by Potawatomi Casino. New development has been going on to improve the area on Canal and increase the draw to the area. This has been slow going. Canal Street came up to the top of everyone's minds last month with the disastrous explosion at Falk.

Another revitalization was started south of the Stadium to coincide with the opening of Miller Park. West Milwaukee has put a huge focus on improving Miller Park Way. What a great opportunity, and the village has taken advantage big time. If you haven't been over here, drive south from I-94 and check it out! In addition to the shops and buildings that have popped up over the past 5-7 years, there are new developments underway constantly. A good example is the old Hotpoint facility which is now a Pick'n Save. There is a new Menards underway as well. This area isn't just new shops either, the area includes long-term customers with new residential development as well. West Milwaukee continues to build on its vicinity to Miller Park. More opportunities are available here. Just look around for empty land, vacant factories, and under-utilized buildings.

And just for fun, check out the West Milwaukee web site to see video of the demolition of the Hot Point smoke stack: