Good Afternoon,

Next week is Milwaukee Startup Week, so if you haven't registered for some of the 25+ events being held around downtown, now is the time to do so! In the By The Numbers section, we show how impactful startups and high-tech companies are on the local economy and the importance of building a stronger startup ecosystem.

Also, mark your calendars for the October 31st Lakefront Gateway Plaza public information meeting. Milwaukee Downtown is partnering with the City planning staff and GRAEF to host this opportunity, so you can provide input on what you would like to see developed in this future park on the lakefront. Find more information in the Event Spotlight section.

For this edition of Real Results, we sat down with Chris Socha of The Kubala Washatko Architects for a candid conversation. Socha is the head designer for the reinvention of The Shops of Grand Avenue, as well as the leader for the creation of the TKWA UrbanLab. Get his take on what it will take to keep the momentum going in Milwaukee.

Also, as ambassadors for MKE United, Milwaukee Downtown encourages you to become engaged in this effort to build a more inclusive downtown that leverages the development momentum to help spur new growth in the near-to-downtown neighborhoods. Read more about this important public private partnership in the Project Spotlight section of this edition of Real Results

As always, thanks for reading!  
fake signature Matt Dorner   

Matt Dorner
Economic Development Director
Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21
Follow us on Twitter @RealResultsMKE
Earlier this year, MKE United Greater Downtown Action Agenda (MKE United) was launched by an executive committee, which includes leaders from the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Urban League and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, to carry out a comprehensive planning process. This planning endeavor is charged with creating an inclusive, shared vision for downtown Milwaukee and its adjacent neighborhoods.

To provide context for this effort, as we can see, Milwaukee is experiencing once-in-a-generation development in and around downtown, which in turn is creating tremendous new opportunities for the city. It is crucial to leverage these developments in order to:
  • Benefit the neighborhoods adjacent to downtown
  • Create a coherent and discernible identity for "Greater Downtown"
  • Build safe and efficient connections between downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods
To meet this need, the executive committee convened a diverse team of community leaders from across the downtown and adjacent neighborhoods to facilitate the MKE United planning process. The vision for Greater Downtown will be supported by a strategic action agenda with implementable steps to make the vision a realty. 

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 is one of the numerous ambassadors for the MKE United initiative and is working to build positive engagement and more community ambassadors in the downtown neighborhood. The MKE United team is currently seeking your input and recommendations on the process. You can attend any of the community engagement events, as well as provide feedback through the MKE United website by clicking here .


Milwaukee Downtown and First Bank Financial Centre are reminding commercial property owners and small businesses in Business Development District #21 about the recently created low-interest loan pool that promotes revitalization and business growth.  

The Milwaukee Downtown Business Development Loan Pool (BDLP) program is designed to encourage business development and investment in the Business Improvement District #21 boundary. The program can be used as a primary loan or in conjunction with other sources of funding. Loans are generally between $10,000 and $25,000, with an attractive interest rate that can be fixed as low as 1% and favorable terms.   
The BDLP program may be used to finance business and commercial revitalization expenses such as acquisition of land or a building, building improvements, equipment purchases, environmental or safety compliance, demolition and more.  
Click here   for more information and to download a BDLP brochure and application.


Mon, Oct. 31  I  5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Milwaukee Memorial Center
750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive

Please join Milwaukee Downtown, City of Milwaukee planning staff and the GRAEF design team for a brief presentation about the Lakefront Gateway Plaza on Monday, Oct. 31.  Following the presentation, we invite you to share your  input on the design and programming of this future showcase park!

The evening event will be held from 5:30 to 
7:30 p.m. at the Milwaukee War Memorial Center. Free parking is available at the War Memorial lake level surface parking lot and at the nearby O'Donnell Park garage. On-street parking is available on Prospect Avenue, and the public bus service from MCTS Gold Line with connecting service to numerous bus lines is just a short walk across Mason Street Bridge from Prospect Avenue.
To provide a brief background, the City of Milwaukee announced that the design team led b y GRAEF was selected as the winner of the  Lakefront Gateway Plaza National Design Competition in October 2015 . The selected design concept is now being used to gather public input and to secure funds for further design and construction. For more information about the public forum on Oct. 31 and to view the project's design concept, click here  .
We hope you use this opportunity to share your thoughts on the future of this important public space!

In This Issue
With Milwaukee Startup Week starting Tuesday, Nov. 1 and going through Sunday, Nov. 6, it's time to focus on the positive impact that growing high-tech jobs has on the local economy. Certainly, it is important to implement initiatives that support job creation in all sectors, but as recent studies show, Milwaukee and Wisconsin as a whole need to raise the priority of building a stronger tech and startup ecosystem. 

According to a Bay Area Council Economy Institute study, the local job multiplier effect for high-tech jobs is substantial. For each job created in the high-tech sector, approximately 4.3 jobs are created in the local, non-tradeable sector (e.g. lawyers, dentists, school teachers, retail clerks, service providers, etc.).On the other hand, the local job multiplier for the manufacturing sector was estimated 1.4 additional jobs, or about one-third as many created when compared to each high-tech job.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, calculations done by Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Project Architect, The Kubala Washatko Architects (TKWA)

Chris Socha is a lead designer for the reinvention of The Shops of Grand Avenue. Learn more about his goals with the TKWA UrbanLab, as well as his vision on how Milwaukee can continue the positive momentum forward.

What suite of services can The Kubala Washatko Architects (TKWA) provide to clients?
TKWA delivers a broad range of services from planning to architectural and interior design. We have expertise in sustainable design, adaptive reuse and historic tax credit work. TKWA takes on projects of varying scale, from creating pocket parks to designing entire neighborhoods. Our clients are diverse, including large developers and non-profits.  

What are your driving forces behind the creation of TKWA UrbanLab?
Like many cities around the world, Milwaukee is undergoing a profound reshaping. TKWA UrbanLab will challenge the community to ensure that as we change, we create places of value, which are key to retaining and attracting talent. For an architecture and urban design practice, this starts with putting as much concern for the space between buildings as the buildings themselves. Our shared environment, including sidewalks, streets and parks, shapes how we use the city. As we improve and reconsider these assets, TKWA UrbanLab seeks to prioritize a people-first strategy. This means investing in our walking and biking facilities, encouraging multimodal transportation and shaping active public spaces. To be clear, these aren't feel-good endeavors. You can follow the talent migration patterns to cities that have already made serious investments in livability. At TKWA UrbanLab, we feel a sense of urgency to be advocates, stewards and creators of a more vibrant public realm in Milwaukee and beyond.

Which downtown Milwaukee project are you most excited about?
The Shops of Grand Avenue's forthcoming transformation will be pivotal to Westown's ongoing revival. The project footprint covers three city blocks in the geographic heart of downtown Milwaukee. With better connections to the city fabric, a multitude of new use and better place-making, this project is poised to change people's perception of what downtown Milwaukee can offer.

What other projects are key to keep positive momentum going in downtown and throughout the city?
Projects that enhance connectivity are critical. The streetcar construction, proposed bus rapid transit system and Bublr expansion will offer new options for getting around. It's important that these systems are planned in concert as each one elevates the other. Once in the ground, we must work hard to ensure that these systems expand to connect surrounding neighborhoods   

What do you see as Milwaukee's biggest challenge?
Milwaukee has deep-rooted problems that require immediate action. We can't address issues of segregation, education and talent attraction if we aren't all in the same room, working toward common goals. To that end, Milwaukee needs to de-silo. And while TKWA UrbanLab is a design practice first, my hope is that we will provide a forum to work on systemic city issues through urban realm improvements.

What peer cities offer the best qualities for Milwaukee to learn from?
When you travel to cities that feel different, pay attention to why that is. Portland, Seattle and Vancouver feel different in part because they've chosen to invest in infrastructure and a built-environment that prioritizes people first. The quality of their public realms reflect this mindset, and people are taking notice. While these cities may not be Milwaukee's peers in the conventional sense, the lesson is clear--you invite what you build for.

When you are not working, what is your favorite hobby?
I love to travel and read. As an architect trying to influence positive change in Milwaukee, it's important to understand what's happening in the world. I enjoy seeking out places that have done things right, and return home invigorated, informed and ready to implement change.

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