A new marketing program and a streamlined development approval process for the long vacant Park East corridor was unveiled Tuesday by a collaboration of city, county and state officials and the Commercial Assocation of Realtors Wisconsin.
The public can view the marketing plan for the Park East corridor at: http://parkeastmke.com, which launched Tuesday.
The Park East freeway spur, located on the north side of downtown Milwaukee, was torn down about 11 years ago in hopes of opening up land for development. But development has been slow to come to the former freeway corridor, which is mostly owned by Milwaukee County.
After a collaborative effort by the city and county to attract the corporate headquarters for Kohl’s Corp. to the Park East corridor was unsuccessful, officials decided to build on the collaboration to create a marketing plan and improve the development approval procedure for the corridor.
“For the three years I’ve been in office we’ve been working with city leaders to streamline the Park East land sale process, so far our combined efforts have produced successful developments and deals, this new program is a big next step,” said County Executive Chris Abele.
The area in the new Park East corridor marketing plan lies west of the Milwaukee River between West McKinley Avenue and West Juneau Avenue and between Old World Third Street and the former Pabst brewery complex. The area cover about 11 acres.
A key component of the new Park East effort is a joint city-county rolling RFP process to sell sites in the Park East corridor to developers. Details of the process are laid out on the Park East web site.
“What people want is predictability, something that makes sense and is easy to work with,” Abele said. “We’re not going to be passive about this. We’re going to be proactive. We’re going to reach out for opportunities, not wait for them to come to us.”
The RFPs will be subjected to a streamlined and concurrent city-county review process.
“Now is our time to work together as a community to do what we can to enliven this site,” Barrett said.
However, a critical issue for developers considering project in the Park East corridor will be what the future plans are for the nearby BMO Harris Bradley Center, whether or not a replacement arena will be built, and if so where?
“Answers to those questions will come in time,” said Department of City Development Commissioner Richard “Rocky” Marcoux.