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 its quest to establish itself as the Great Lakes capital, the changes happening to its culture are what appear to have everyone on their feet.
Between the East Side, downtown, Historic Third Ward, Walker’s Point and Bay View, there are so many cool concepts coming online, each of which showcases the unique character of the area it serves. From the Bucks Entertainment District to Zocalo food truck park (Phelan Development), there is something different in just about every corner. It comes as no surprise much of the action is coming from the food and beverage segment, as Milwaukee is after all “Brew City.” One of these concepts is Crossroads Collective.
Crossroads is the brainchild of developer Tim Gohkman with New Land Enterprises. The food hall took occupancy in what was originally the Oriental Pharmacy, a 29-year staple of the Lower East Side, having served everything from cold medicine to deli sandwiches. While honoring the tradition of the original corner drug store/diner, Crossroads has taken an exciting approach in combating the increased pace of consumer demand by offering seven different food and beverage vendors within 7,000 square feet of retail space. While the model for this form of retail is less traditional, it is intriguing nonetheless and has unquestionably given this neighborhood a sense of identity.
Changes in the metro area
As we witness the amazing changes taking place downtown, it is equally important to consider those taking place in the surrounding metro area. While the retail environment continues to evolve, we are forced to consider new ideas as we look to avoid community assets lying dormant.
For consumers, the shopping center was once seen as a one-stop-shop activity in which they could spend an afternoon in a variety of conveniently located storefronts. For retailers, the shopping center was always a value proposition with shared amenities, abundant parking and competitive overhead costs. Now, however, shopping centers as we once knew them find themselves struggling, offering increased opportunities for redevelopment of these properties.
Cypress Equities has recently completed the acquisition of Bayshore Town Center, a 1.2 million-square foot shopping center that includes a wide array of retail, restaurants, offices and residential units. A repositioning is set to commence at the end of this month and conclude in late 2020. The new partnership will redevelop Bayshore into a state-of-the-art, connected project for the surrounding communities to enjoy. This new image aims to improve key elements in the previous shopping center design by incorporating fresh architecture and landscaping, vibrant art, murals by local artists, iconic sculptures and lighting design that will enhance the community’s overall shopping experience.
“The core benefits of the new development will bring people together around elevated lifestyle and dining experiences, rich shopping opportunities and hospitable living quarters,” says Chris Maguire, CEO of Cypress Equities. “We will be announcing additional new retailers in 2020 that will draw in the local flair and rich history that makes the North Shore of Milwaukee the great community that it is.”
As Milwaukee continues its re-identification, it is imperative we consider the consumers ever-changing habits in effort to present a spectrum of offerings that fully engage the community. We clearly see this in the urban segment with participation from our professional sports, forward-thinking developers and municipal leaders.
And while the suburban segment continues adapting to national trends, we are proud to have gathered attention and investment from our out-of-state partners who are witnessing similar changes across their portfolios. The future looks bright, sustainable and poised for growth.
— By Fred Stallé, Broker Associate, Property Representation, Mid-America Real Estate – Wisconsin LLC. This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Heartland Real Estate Business magazine.