City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Downtown BID assemble team for Downtown Area Plan update efforts

Consulting firms will focus on equity and engagement, urban design

Downtown Milwaukee
Downtown Milwaukee

The city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District No. 21 have selected the firms to assist with efforts to update the Downtown Area Plan.

Milwaukee-based P3 Development Group will lead equity and engagement efforts throughout the planning process, according to a news release.

Several firms have been hired for urban-design services. They include Cedarburg-based The Kubala Washatko Architects, Kansas City-based HNTB, Milwaukee-based American Design Inc. and Brookfield-based raSmith.

The Downtown Area Plan lays out a vision for downtown Milwaukee land use and development. The city and BID are leading efforts to revise the plan, which was created in 1999 and last updated in 2010.

The original plan included such goals as creation of the Milwaukee Public Market, the redevelopment of the Park East Freeway Corridor, the re-use of the historic Pabst Brewery Complex, the renovation and expansion of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, and the construction and expansion of the Milwaukee RiverWalk. These goals and others have been largely met.

The 2010 plan, meanwhile, identified several major developments deemed critical to downtown’s growth. They included a fixed-rail streetcar line, revitalization of Wisconsin Avenue, new circulation patterns, development and public space at the Lakefront Gateway area, building a “Broadway Connection” to link downtown and the Historic Third Ward, developing the area around Pere Marquette Square with residential, commercial and entertainment uses, enhancing the Milwaukee Intermodal Station area, improving accessibility to MacArthur Square, and developing the Haymarket area into a mixed-use neighborhood with a public square.

The updated plan is expected to be released in 2022.

“While many of the recommendations and catalytic projects called for in the 2010 plan have been implemented or are in progress, the 2010 Downtown Area Plan is still very relevant,” Beth Weirick, chief executive officer of Milwaukee Downtown, said in a statement. “We’re looking at this next iteration as a refresh of that plan, with some strategic updates to better position the central business district for growth and investment.”

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Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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