MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee is looking to better connect the city to its downtown.
The Department of City Development and Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 shared recommendations for the city in their “Connec+ing MKE: Downtown Plan 2040.” They said the nearly two-year long planning process should connect every neighborhood to Milwaukee’s city center.
The plan includes multiple recommended “high-priority projects” that include:
Milwaukee Public Museum & State Office Building redevelopment at MacArthur Square
Public space management organization for parks and public spaces
Extending the Streetcar (Westown, Bronzeville, Walker’s Point and the East Side)
6th Street completion
Water Street Entertainment District
Marcus Performing Arts Center parking garage redevelopment site
Reimagining the I-794 and Clybourn Street corridor
A group has made a push to tear down the I-794 Lake Interchange, called Rethink 794, which was first announced last year as a way to combine downtown with the Historic Third Ward with more buildings and public spaces.
Additionally, The Hop is hoping to receive federal funds to expand to the aforementioned neighborhoods, and is also adding a new line near Discovery World later this year.
“Milwaukee experienced a major renaissance following the Downtown Area Plan’s adoption in 2010. Looking at how far we’ve come is inspiring, but we know there’s more work to do in creating our shared vision for the future of Downtown Milwaukee,” DCD Commissioner Lafayette Crump said. “[The] Connec+ing MKE: Downtown Plan 2040 received robust public participation, with more than 2,500 individuals from every Milwaukee zip code providing feedback on their vision for the future of Downtown. Together, we are on a path towards ensuring our downtown is stronger, more equitable and easily accessible for every Milwaukeean.”
The proposed catalytic projects would complement the progress made by the 2010 Downtown Area Plan. Since 2010, according to city leaders, more than $4.5 billion has been invested in completed private and public projects and more than $3.1 billion is currently under construction or proposed to start soon.
“The draft strategies of Connec+ing MKE: Downtown Plan 2040 are intended to unlock downtown’s full growth potential,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “We look forward to implementing the community’s vision and enhancing Downtown as great place to live, work, play, learn and do business – all connected by walkable streets, enhanced transit options, greater connectivity with surrounding neighborhoods, and active and inclusive gathering spaces and plazas.”
The full draft plan is available here. Dialogue is still encouraged at www.connectingmke.com, where users can take part in the virtual open house and provide feedback until May 22. The plan will be presented to the City Plan Commission and City of Milwaukee Common Council for adoption as part of the city’s comprehensive plan this summer.