Community Message: City of Milwaukee and Downtown Milwaukee, BID #21 to Host Second Meeting for Downtown Area Plan Update

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The City of Milwaukee’s Department of Urban Development (DCD) and Downtown Milwaukee, BID #21 announced their second in a series of public meetings for the new downtown plan, “Connec+ing MKE – Downtown Plan 2040”. The open house-style format will be held at 3rd Street Market Hall, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Wednesday, May 25 from 3-7 p.m. Milwaukee residents are encouraged to attend and express their vision for the future of downtown Milwaukee.

The meeting will be held as a community open house where residents will have the opportunity to learn about the transformative projects of the 2010 Regional Plan, engage with neighbors and provide valuable input into the planning process. Accessibility and connectivity to adjacent neighborhoods will be central to discussions on the updated plan. Public participation is an integral part of creating an equitable plan designed with everyone in mind.

“Shaping Milwaukee’s future can be a collaborative process, and we invite you to be a part of it,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “Now is the time to plan for Milwaukee’s growth and future. The Downtown Plan will establish priorities, strategies and approaches that will help determine what downtown Milwaukee will look like in the decades to come.

“Milwaukee experienced a major renaissance after the adoption of the Downtown Plan in 2010. It’s inspiring to see how far we’ve come, but we know there’s still a long way to go before downtown is a place where every resident, in every neighborhood, feels welcome and connected to our city,” said DCD Commissioner Lafayette Crump. “I look forward to building our downtown to be stronger, more equitable, and easily accessible to all Milwaukeeans.”

Ongoing dialogue is also encouraged at, where users can post ideas on a virtual wall, pin comments on an interactive map, and view comments from other Milwaukee residents. Feedback gathered from these resources will help identify areas for growth and improvement, which will influence planning decisions. Comments can include notes on strengths, opportunities for growth, aspirations for an ideal downtown, and suggestions on how to measure the results of the completed plan.

“The Downtown Area Plan will set the stage for downtown growth over the next two decades,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “The way we ensure a vibrant and accessible community is to listen to everyone, which is why public input is critically important. Now is the time to shape our downtown for future generations.

Several major developments critical to downtown growth have been identified in the latest downtown area plan. These catalytic projects included: the addition of a fixed rail streetcar system; the revitalization of Wisconsin Avenue; new circulation patterns, landscaping and public spaces at the Lakefront Gateway; build a strong connection with Broadway to better connect the Central Business District to the historic Third Ward; develop the area around Place du Père Marquette with residential, commercial and entertainment uses; improving the Station Plaza/Milwaukee Intermodal Station area; improving accessibility to the underused MacArthur Square; and the development of the Haymarket area into a mixed-use neighborhood with a public plaza.

Over the past decade, more than $3.5 billion has been invested in completed private and public projects and more than $2.5 billion is currently under construction or expected to start soon. The revised plan will include strategic updates from the 2010 plan that will guide land use decisions, redevelopment of key sites and improvements to streets and public spaces over the next 10 to 20 years.

“Connec+ing MKE – Downtown Plan 2040” is expected to be released in 2023. Information on this innovative downtown improvement strategy can be found at

David H. Henry