Good Afternoon,

In this edition of Real Results, we bring you updates on another catalytic project that is about to start construction in spring--The Milwaukee Streetcar. With the steel rails expected to arrive in March, the project is full steam ahead!

We also sit down with Rose Buss, program manager for the City of Milwaukee's Better Buildings Challenge, which has recently expanded to bring new tools to commercial property owners to make their buildings more energy efficient and, ultimately, improve profitability. Learn more about how you can take the pledge and get started with a free energy assessment today!

February was an outstanding month for Milwaukee, earning a place on several national lists for "best places to live and work." We outline these prominent lists in this month's By the Numbers section.

With Milwaukee Downtown's third annual Taste & Toast happy hour event returning March 6-10, don't forget to start scheduling your after-work meetings at one of the 24 participating bars and restaurants. Enjoy food and drink specials while experiencing Milwaukee's vibrant nighttime economy. We look forward to seeing you there! 

As always, thanks for reading!  

fake signature Matt Dorner   


Matt Dorner
Economic Development Director
Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21
Follow us on Twitter @RealResultsMKE
With months of planning in the books, the Kiewit Infrastructure team announced that construction of The Milwaukee Streetcar track will start this spring with the delivery of the steel rails beginning in March. First, there will be 474 80-ft. long "sticks" of rail that will be delivered to five strategic locations near the route. Then, the sticks will be welded into longer segments prior to their street installation. 


Rail installation is expected to begin in April with the first segment on St. Paul Avenue between Plankinton Avenue and 4th Street. From there, track installation will be phased and well-planned to minimize the impacts on known events like Summerfest and Bastille Days. Click here to view a construction phasing map and expected timeframes.

Following track installation, Kiewit will install the overhead catenary system that provides power to the streetcar vehicles. While there are segments of the route where the vehicles will be powered by battery technology, much of the Phase 1 route will have overhead wire.

In other streetcar news, the City of Milwaukee recently held a job recruitment session with over 200 people in attendance. This strong showing is important as the Phase 1 and Lakefront Line construction includes Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Resident Preference Program goals to ensure that city residents benefit from the work being generated by the project.

The City of Milwaukee also released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit an operator for the streetcar system. The winner of this RFP will be responsible for the day-to-day functions of The Milwaukee Streetcar. In addition, the City of Milwaukee is in the process of seeking consultants for planning activities. The winning teams will assist in developing strategies to foster equitable Transit Oriented Development (TOD) along the corridors that are under consideration for future extensions of The Milwaukee Streetcar. More information on the RFPs can be found here.

With all of this momentum, 2017 will be a busy year for The Milwaukee Streetcar project. Construction on the Phase 1 line will be completed in 2018, and the Lakefront Extension will be completed in 2019. For information on the development potential, as well as commercial lease opportunities along the streetcar corridor, see the Milwaukee Streetcar Investment and Development Guide 
created by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

With the highest concentration of commercial buildings in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 is proud to partner with the City of Milwaukee in promoting the Better Buildings Challenge.

The Better Buildings Challenge, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy, is a comprehensive energy efficiency program that provides all of the tools and resources necessary for commercial building owners to develop and implement energy efficiency projects in their buildings. The challenge sets the goal of 20% energy savings in 10 years by making energy efficiency retrofits easy, affordable and compelling for commercial building owners and managers. Energy efficiency upgrades are proven to have net positive impacts on a building's bottomline, which include higher occupancy levels and greater tenant satisfaction.

The City of Milwaukee officially launched the expanded Better Buildings Challenge for commercial buildings in September 2016. Over 30 buildings are already participating and are reaping the many benefits, including free energy assessments to help map out their improvement plans. Claim your free assessment today!

Click here to learn more and take the Better Buildings Challenge pledge! Also, mark your calendar for the Better Buildings Challenge networking event on March 28. 

March 6 - 10
4 to 7 p.m.
Downtown Milwaukee
Attention foodies and happy hour enthusiasts! Lift your spirits during the third annual Taste & Toast--a five-night happy hour event coordinated by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. Satisfy your palate, and pocketbook, with specially priced small plates, appetizers and beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, from 24 downtown restaurants, bars and lounges. Click here to preview menus.

In This Issue
We all know what a great city Milwaukee is and with the positive momentum underway, we anticipate a very bright future. The rest of the nation is also taking notice after Milwaukee earned a spot on several "Best Of" lists this past February. Check them out below.

- Milwaukee rose a remarkable 25 spots to #47 in "Best Places to Live in the United States," an annual ranking done by U.S. News & World Report . Click here for the full report.

- Milwaukee was listed as one of the 16 "Under-Appreciated American Cities You Should Totally Move To" by Thrillist Travel. Click here for the full report.

- Milwaukee was listed as one of the three "Up-and-Coming Places to Live" in a follow-up report by U.S. News & World ReportClick here for the full report.

- Milwaukee was also included in a list by popular business magazine,  Inc., that recognized alternative and affordable cities to move your startup business to rather than Silicon Valley. Click here for the full report.  
Energy Efficiency Program Manager of the City of Milwaukee's Environmental Collaboration Office

Rose Buss is a leader in ensuring Milwaukee remains a world-class, eco-city through the various programs she leads for the City of Milwaukee.  Read below to learn more about the latest projects that she is spearheading.

What programs are being led by the Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO)?
ECO has a full suite of programs that make Milwaukee a world-class, eco-city by improving people's lives, the economy, and the natural ecosystems that support our long-term prosperity.

We support solar energy projects and policy through Milwaukee Shines; provide financing options for energy efficiency upgrades in residential and commercial buildings through Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs; transform vacant lots into green space through HOME GR/OWN; showcase leadership in managing our water resources through our recently launched Water Centric Cities initiative; and provide resources for public and private buildings to reduce energy use through the Better Buildings Challenge.

What programs are you leading that you're most excited about?
Our PACE program has taken off over the last year, more than doubling in the number of buildings utilizing this financing mechanism. I am excited to see what this year will bring as we introduce the program to more buildings and solve some of the challenges that will result from this expansion.

The expansion of the Better Buildings Challenge program is also really exciting, as we are starting to see the program and resources come together in a meaningful way and are gaining momentum in engaging buildings around the city.
Can you further describe the Better Buildings Challenge and its key benefits to commercial buildings?
The Better Buildings Challenge is a national initiative calling on buildings to reduce their energy use by 20% over 10 years. The City of Milwaukee began participating with public buildings in 2012 and is now offering resources to private buildings to do the same. The program is designed to be a one-stop shop for owners to understand their buildings, and to develop and implement energy projects. These projects reduce utility bills, operations and maintenance costs, as well as increase tenant comfort and the overall property value.

In addition to the benefits from completing energy projects, the expanded program helps connect buildings to financing and incentives for projects, provides marketing and recognition for participants through the website and awards, and offers free energy assessments to qualifying buildings to help improve their profitability and energy efficiency. 

Are there any projects you see that are key to keeping the positive momentum going in Milwaukee?
I am really excited about the streetcar and the composting pilot project. I think that both of these projects will help round out the overall sustainability of the city and will make the city's sustainability efforts more visible to visitors.

What peer cities offer the best examples for Milwaukee to learn from?
I think that the Twin Cities have a lot to offer as an example for Milwaukee, especially considering their similarity in size and their Midwestern personality. I am originally from St. Paul, and the transformation I have seen over the past decade from projects similar to those happening in Milwaukee is remarkable.

When you are not working, what are your favorite hobbies?
I love to bake and have friends over for dinner and potlucks. There is nothing better than having a house full of people, good food and treats to go home with at the end of the night!

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21
Matt Dorner
600 East Wells Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202-3811
(414) 220-4700 ext. 4