Good City Brewing and its co-founder Dan Katt are not shy when it comes to taking risks.
In 2018, the company took a chance on the Century City Business Park on Milwaukee’s northwest side. An ownership group led by Katt bought the 53,000-square-foot Century City 1 building, where the brewery moved some of its operations.
“We saw great potential for the site and future development and just felt like we could play a small part in getting the ball rolling,” Katt said.
His partners were on board with the move. The decision meant that Good City had found the modern warehouse space it was seeking. It also meant the company would be a catalyst to bring investment in a part of the city that badly needs it.
“We always intended the name ‘Good City’ to speak to all of Milwaukee, not just the East Side where we started, or downtown where we were expanding, but also the northwest side or wherever people call home,” Katt said.
To be sure, the business park has been slow to develop. But the future appears brighter.
After five years, the Century City 1 building is now finally fully leased. Katt has now filed plans to develop a similar facility next door. He said the high demand for modern industrial space in Milwaukee outpaces supply. Users also want immediate access to a dense labor pool.
“Our hope is that we can continue to build momentum to attract businesses who care deeply about Milwaukee and who see value in being at Century City
like we do,” Katt said.
Beyond that, Good City has seized another opportunity in Wauwatosa amid the COVID-19 pandemic,recently opening a taproom at the Mayfair Collection. At the time of the announcement, Katt said he and his colleagues thought they were crazy for even entertaining the idea, given the challenges surrounding the pandemic.
But that’s what has defined Good City since its founding: its willingness to take calculated risks. Katt said he’d like to see more people in the community do
“My hope for Milwaukee would be to see more individuals taking risks, more people leaving comfy jobs to bet on (themselves) and start a new business,” he said. “For businesses, I am no expert or business genius, but I think the ‘risk’ should be to bet on our community here in Milwaukee, in southeast Wisconsin. Invest here, get really involved, put down roots and keep investing so our money stays here and is recycled into all sorts of economic prosperity for the entire region.”
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