Milwaukee Downtown Investment Forecasts Glowing Future
With a $2 billion surge in investment in construction projects, Milwaukee looks ahead to an exciting future. Major investments in a new sports arena, hotels, streetcar, office buildings and highways reflect the progressive vision of the city and will mean striking changes to the cityscape in the next five years.
Scheduled to break ground by the end of the year, a new $500 million downtown sports and entertainment complex will be new home to the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team and a huge catalyst for additional private development in the area. Expected for completion by 2017, the arena complex will be located just a few blocks from the Wisconsin Center convention center and major convention hotels.
Slated for a 2016 opening in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, a new 158-room Kimpton boutique hotel will feature an eight-story building housing a chef-driven, destination restaurant on the ground floor, plus a rooftop bar and expansive meeting space. Originally an industrial and warehouse district in the 1800’s, the Third Ward is now home to the Milwaukee Public Market and the center of the city’s exciting culinary and arts & fashion scene.
Also on track to open in 2016 directly across from the Wisconsin Center, the Springhill Suites Milwaukee will offer 150 rooms in the 97-year-old, fully renovated Commerce Building, which is tied to the city’s skywalk system, also linking to the Wisconsin Center.
The Hyatt Regency Milwaukee will open its sleek, new rooftop event space with panoramic views of the city in November 2015, and the 19-story luxury hotel at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, which opened last year, has added to the range of upscale hotel options and entertainment offerings in the city.
Construction begins in early 2016 on the highly anticipated Milwaukee Streetcar system connecting 80,000 downtown workers, 25,000 downtown residents and millions of annual visitors. In its first phase, the 2.5-mile route will link the Milwaukee Intermodal Station (and its 1.4 million annual users) with hotels, businesses and attractions downtown, in the Historic Third Ward, Lakefront and lower East Side.
Adding impressive new architecture to the lakefront skyline, Northwestern Mutual has broken ground on a new $450 million, 32-story Tower and Commons area overlooking Lake Michigan. In the same area, a 17-story office building is also under construction, and an additional 44-story, $122-million apartment tower has just gained final approval, all guaranteeing thriving economic impact in the downtown area.
These new buildings will overlook the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum with its “wings” that open and close daily on the magnificent lakefront. The museum itself is receiving a major, multi-million dollar face-lift with the current construction of a new addition featuring a stunning entrance facing Lake Michigan, along with fully renovated permanent collection halls.
Milwaukee as a meeting destination just keeps getting better. Discover all the reasons why forward-thinking Milwaukee is the right choice for your next meeting.
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Jeff Baryenbruch, CHSP, Executive Director Sales