A new report released today by the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum finds that several strategies utilized in the Menomonee Valley could be adapted and applied to other large-scale redevelopment efforts in Milwaukee. Those include robust and widely inclusive planning and design activities, strong intergovernmental and public-private partnerships, and the assumption of financial risk by public sector entities to assemble and make properties “shovel ready.”
“While the Menomonee Valley’s story still is being written, its revitalization over the last 15 years has justifiably been heralded as a model of sustainable development to be studied and replicated elsewhere,” says Forum Senior Researcher Joe Peterangelo, the lead author of the report. “Our analysis has identified several specific policies and unique strategies that have been influential factors in the Valley’s success and that should be considered for other large-scale redevelopment efforts in Milwaukee.”
The report explores how the Valley’s major improvements over the last 15 years were achieved. Using analysis of Valley data and documents and an extensive series of interviews with public and private sector leaders, the report cites the major barriers that inhibited Valley redevelopment, and examines the fiscal and programmatic strategies that helped to overcome those barriers and facilitate private sector investments.
Specifically, public and private sector economic development leaders are urged to consider the following lessons from the Valley’s revival as they pursue redevelopment in other priority areas in the region:
“This report is especially timely given ongoing work on an updated land use plan to guide future redevelopment in the Valley, and the prominent efforts underway to redevelop other industrial areas in Milwaukee, like the 30th Street Industrial Corridor and the Inner Harbor,” says Peterangelo. “We hope that by promoting a greater understanding of the critical elements of the Valley’s last 15 years of redevelopment, we can help guide current and future planning in the Valley and inform policy and practice for similar efforts in Milwaukee and beyond.”
Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum, established in 1913 as a local government watchdog, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of government and the development of southeastern Wisconsin through objective research of public policy issues.