The Milwaukee Public Market announced that gross vendor sales increased from $11.7 million in 2013 to $12.0 million in in 2014.
In addition, the number of customer visits to the market increased slightly from 1,251,037 to 1,254,233.
The public market is operated by staff from the Historic Third Ward Association under contract with the Business Improvement District #2 (BID), which owns the market building. Ron San Felippo, chair of the BID, said 2014 figures were impressive considering the first phase of the I-794 freeway reconstruction project required the market to close off its main entry point to the parking lot for most of the year.
Paul Schwartz, operation and communications manager for the market, said the market began pre-construction planning a year prior to the start of the freeway project.
“At the beginning of 2014, we were not only dealing with the start of freeway construction, but we also had the St. Paul Avenue bridge closed,” Schwartz said. “The bridge has reopened, as well as the main doorway adjacent to our parking lot. I think the 2014 figures are a good indication that the market brand is strong and construction has not had anywhere near the impact that some people feared it would.”
Early last year, the BID, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), instituted a shuttle operation from a remote parking lot on Second Street and Clybourn Street throughout the neighborhood to help ease any parking issues caused by the project.
“The great news is that we see less people worrying about parking in the Third Ward,” Schwartz said. “The neighborhood was bustling throughout the warm weather months, in large part to the planning and constant communication by the Third Ward Association and the DOT.”