Shorewood is open for business

    Whatever you’ve thought about doing business in Shorewood in the past, it’s time to think again! There’s so much business and development action going on in Shorewood that unless you’ve been paying close attention, you’re probably not up-to-date.
    Shorewood offers attributes that make it ideal for locating a new business or developing a retail or multi-family residential project. 

    Shorewood is a unique urban village – just minutes from downtown – with a well-educated, high-income population. Shorewood offers density, diversity and demographics, top-rated schools, responsive government and strong property values. 

    Shorewood has created proactive plans aimed at attracting additional businesses and housing options:

    • An innovative master plan for redeveloping the Village’s Central District along North Oakland Avenue, East Capitol Drive and the Milwaukee River.
    • Quadrupling the size of our tax incremental financing (TIF) district by including the entire Oakland/Capitol area, plus riverfront properties. This dramatically increases areas targeted for development, and facilitates increased public support of business activities that will benefit the village.
    • A bold strategic plan for Shorewood’s already top-rated schools.
    • Simplified zoning rules to facilitate business development.
    • A new Shoreland Ordinance, ensuring intelligent, ecologically-sensitive development on properties along the Milwaukee River.
    • Design guidelines that encourage development of high-quality project.
    • Streetscaping activities on North Oakland Avenue and East Capitol Drive that will enhance the area’s attractiveness, calm traffic and improve safety on our two main commercial thoroughfares.
    • A targeted marketing campaign that promotes Shorewood to key publics.

    We’ve developed a roadmap for intelligent development that will benefit both residents and businesses by actively promoting thoughtful, careful development of successful projects that will benefit the community.

    Shorewood has identified 20 top redevelopment sites, ranging in size from less than an acre up to nine acres. Almost all are on North Oakland or East Capitol. The sites are suitable for everything from multi-family housing to retail businesses and medical or commercial buildings.

    Shorewood’s schools are consistently ranked among the best in the state; a fact which helps to make the village an easy sell to families with children. School Superintendent Blane McCann says, "The schools are the center of the community here like nowhere else I’ve seen. People support superior education, and they support our programs in many ways."

    Our Business Improvement District (BID) is proactive and works aggressively to attract and support businesses to Shorewood as well as helping existing businesses succeed. We’re seeking unique, one-of-a-kind businesses that mesh well with the character of the community, rather than large national chains.

    Our BID special events drive customers to Shorewood businesses. Not just the Shorewood Criterium bicycling race, but community movie night, Showcase Shorewood events and the Holiday Shopwalk help create awareness and store traffic.

    The next logical step in promoting redevelopment has been the Shorewood Marketing Initiative, a targeted marketing campaign aimed at potential residents, realtors, businesses and developers. Beginning in May, ads in local magazines and online media, direct mail and public relations efforts have educated the marketplace about Shorewood. Themed "Just two feet from everything," the campaign features a free Shorewood Walking Kit, which encourages recipients to explore the village’s unique shopping and entertainment venues, appreciate its unique and often historic architecture, and learn more about Shorewood schools.

    It’s time to consider the advantages of doing business in Shorewood. To learn more, click on and click on Business & Development. Then call me at (414) 847-2700, and let’s talk.

    Chris Swartz is the village manager of Shorewood.

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