Monday, February 24, 2014

Barrett's 'State Of The City' Address Has Development Focus

Glad to see in the Journal Sentinel this morning that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is announcing a public/private partnership to further develop the Century City site at the former Tower Automotive A.O Smith site at about 35th St. and W. Capitol Dr.

The site has huge potential; reclaiming it through reinvention and re-commitment is a sign that Milwaukee's governmental and business leaders are working together.
It takes hard work to begin and sustain develop in the heart of older Great Lakes cities like Milwaukee.
Land is often contaminated from years of industrial use. Some capital and planning have left for the suburbs and the smaller towns west and north of the city.
And Milwaukee is land-locked by an only-in-Milwaukee-1950's state law that froze the city boundaries, helped fuel the region's suburbanization and confined Milwaukee's growth along with its poorer residents. 
So the city has to reinvent and reclaim and recycle land and buildings, to grow vertically where possible - - Third Ward lofts - -  to create something out of virtually nothing - - The Downtown Riverwalk - - and to keep innovating - - from the Menomonee Valley to Walker's Point to the Reed Street Yards to UW-M dorms in Riverwest made more attractive by expanded urban parkland.
The Downtown Trolley would begin to tie some of these resources together and add greater value to the state's largest city.
Every improvement should be on the table, and if the state were really a city partner instead of an ideological impediment it would facilitate the trolley as both an amenity and development tool.
But nothing is more basic to Milwaukee's success than converting under-utilized facilities or dormant acreage into productive assets.
Let's hope there's smooth sailing for the new Century City plan, and for the next, and the next and the next.
Cross-posted at Purple Wisconsin.

No comments: