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Reimagined Milwaukee Retail Scene Meets Consumer Lifestyle Needs

By Ray Balfanz, Outlook Management Group What does Milwaukee bring to mind? Beer? Cheese? TV’s “Happy Days?” Perhaps the city chosen as the site for the 2020 Democratic National Convention? Yes, that’s us — being recognized and happy about it. But since I began penning this piece in March, we’ve experienced a world of change in the realities of group gatherings: we can hardly have 10 people in a group now, let alone thousands of delegates filling our new Fiserv Forum. It’s …

Metro Milwaukee Industrial Market Poised to Remain Strong

The southeastern Wisconsin industrial real estate market had a banner year in 2019 and remains strong. According to Catalyst, the industrial market in southeastern Wisconsin had a vacancy rate of approximately 4 percent at the end of 2019 and that rate has moved down slightly to 3.9 percent during the first quarter of 2020. This rate is well below the historical vacancy rate in southeastern Wisconsin, which averages between 7 and 9 percent. Several submarkets are significantly lower than the …

Milwaukee Market Experiences Development Boom Across Neighborhoods

Milwaukee has experienced development at an unbelievable rate, and within the past couple of years there has truly been a downtown renaissance worth bearing witness. The city has done an excellent job of creating value, attracting jobs and spurring development that has led to unprecedented economic and social revitalization. With both local and national headlines praising Foxconn, Amazon, Northwestern Mutual and the Milwaukee Bucks, it is no wonder things have changed. While Milwaukee continues …

Creativity, Flexibility Are Paramount in Milwaukee’s Retail Market

Milwaukee, a city known for beer, motorcycles and baseball, is currently in a position of shifting from what was once perceived as the normal retail marketplace into the new age of retail. This type of retail is ever-changing and has a deeper focus on experiential activities and artisanal food. These two words, “experiential” and “artisanal,” are frequently being used to describe where the retail landscape is heading. Online competitors, as well as changing consumer preferences, are …

Construction Is Booming for Milwaukee Multifamily Market

It is widely acknowledged among commercial real estate professionals in the Milwaukee market that we are in the midst of a renaissance of sorts — certainly the most exciting period in the past few decades to be actively involved in the industry. From the Harbor District to the Deer District (the newly branded area around Fiserv Forum), new neighborhoods and exciting destinations are sprouting up. This resurgence continues to attract residents and developers who are quickly creating the …

How Healthcare Adds Value to Mixed-Use Developments in Milwaukee and Beyond

When it comes to location identification for development, you have to think creatively. In a highly competitive market like Milwaukee, mixed-use projects offer a great opportunity to showcase creativity, take advantage of complementary uses and drive tremendous value for clients and investors.The success of a mixed-use project lies in location. A high-profile location will help attract businesses, which then helps build traffic. Ideally, you want to think outside the box to generate repeat …

Milwaukee Health Systems Expand, Focus on Off-Campus Settings

Healthcare properties present a tremendous opportunity for real estate developers in the Milwaukee market and the upper Midwest. The national and regional healthcare real estate sectors remain on solid footing, according to the 2018 Healthcare Marketplace Report from Colliers International. The sector remains attractive in terms of both stability and diversification. There will always be a demand for healthcare services as the U.S. population continues to age at an unprecedented rate.A …

Milwaukee Market Displays Strong Fundamentals Despite Retailer Struggles

Like many other Midwestern markets, Milwaukee is experiencing a mixed bag in retail. While headlines have been dominated primarily by closures, there has also been an abundance of new activity in the market.While it’s taken its hits, the retail market has fought back and retail vacancy has actually decreased slightly to 4.4 percent in the first quarter, according to CoStar Group. Rents are edging up and Class A space is difficult to find. The inventory of Class B and C space is more …

Downtown Milwaukee Is Experiencing Booming Development Across Sectors

In 2017, downtown Milwaukee was unrecognizable from its former self — a year that brought additional outside investment, both public and private development and a rethinking of how we utilize office space. Developers broke a decade-long dry spell in 2016, and now nearly 500,000 square feet of office space is under construction downtown.It’s a story of persistence, as an overhaul of available office product has occurred over the past few years. Now, a vast majority of outdated Class B …

Milwaukee Looks to Boost Retail Market Through Tax-Increment Financing

Milwaukee-area communities have woken up and embraced tax-increment financing (TIF) as a way to stimulate retail and commercial development. Unlike our neighboring state of Illinois, Wisconsin is not afforded the same luxury of allowing retail sales taxes to flow to municipalities, which allows for greater financial flexibility and helps offset the cost of infrastructure and municipal services as a result of retail development.Wisconsin municipalities do not impose local sales or use taxes …

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