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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:41 AM   #1361
djcody
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What is happening on the corner of kilbourn and van buren? I drove past there and it looks like some ground work being done, anyone have any clue?
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Old May 11th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #1362
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What is happening on the corner of kilbourn and van buren? I drove past there and it looks like some ground work being done, anyone have any clue?
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Old May 11th, 2007, 02:26 PM   #1363
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lol. How many times are we going to ask about that people?
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Old May 11th, 2007, 05:04 PM   #1364
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Analyst cites need for city planning
Lack of economic policy stifles rebuilding, he says
By JOHN SCHMID
[email protected]
Posted: May 10, 2007

Milwaukee's lack of a strategic economic plan has created a "policy void" that stifles reconstruction of a 16-acre swath of downtown real estate that remains barren more than three years after the Park East Freeway spur was torn down, a public-policy analyst said Thursday.

Without economic goals and guidelines, developers are vying for their own interests in what has become a symbol of civic inaction, said Ryan Horton, senior analyst at the Public Policy Forum, a Milwaukee-based think-tank.

"When you have a policy void, something has to fill that void," Horton said at an economic summit sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "If there's no policy that's transparent and has accountability in place, something else will fill that void and that's exactly what's happened in the Park East corridor."

Less than two weeks ago, a handful of prominent developers bemoaned the lack of leadership, gridlock and confusion in the efforts to breathe economic life in the Park East, a prominent parcel that's little more than an expanse of gravel and gulls.

The Public Policy Forum in November ignited a heated debate over the city's economic leadership, charging that the city has no overarching economic-development goals, leaving unclear who is accountable for economic policy in City Hall. The Forum, which dissected the city's economic spending, also found that it haphazardly doles out more than $100 million each year in "disjointed" efforts without the "reporting, tracking and accountability" necessary to monitor its economic investments.

As a result, the report found, most of the city's scarce resources end up being channeled into shopping centers, street beautification and housing, making the city "a real-estate development machine, not a job development machine."

Horton, who was the author of the November report, used Thursday's economic summit to cite cities such as Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., which have detailed priorities for city investment, metrics to measure success, accountability and scoring mechanisms that determine projects that merit public dollars.

"We don't have a mechanism like this in Milwaukee right now," Horton said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has accelerated efforts to draft a citywide economic plan after the Forum's report.
Working with consultant

The city disclosed Thursday that it hired a consultant this year to draft a citywide economic plan with instructions to finish it this year.

According to Andrea Rowe, a spokeswoman for the Department of City Development, the city turned to Vandewalle & Associates, based in Madison. The firm describes itself as an economic research and planning consultancy that relishes the challenges facing the industrial Midwest.

Vandewalle & Associates is at work on an economic master plan for the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin. The plan will be published this month. In that case, Vandewalle is working for the seven-county economic-development agency called the Milwaukee 7, which was formed two years ago.

The M-7 plan, when it is finished, will be the first broad attempt at economic planning in the region's history.

Rowe noted that the city created a 2004 Park East Redevelopment plan. The existence of those guidelines, however, hasn't prevented a public dispute among developers over real-estate subsidies from the city.
Effects on businesses?

In another recent planning effort, which is not complete, city officials are at work on a study that will consider the effects of any new downtown developments, including those in the Park East, on existing downtown businesses, such as The Shops of Grand Avenue. The study is meant to help the city determine which proposals should receive financial help.

Horton welcomed the recent efforts to draw up plans and priorities.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 06:29 PM   #1365
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Originally Posted by Oshkosh49 View Post
Analyst cites need for city planning
Lack of economic policy stifles rebuilding, he says
By JOHN SCHMID
[email protected]
Posted: May 10, 2007

Milwaukee's lack of a strategic economic plan has created a "policy void" that stifles reconstruction of a 16-acre swath of downtown real estate that remains barren more than three years after the Park East Freeway spur was torn down, a public-policy analyst said Thursday.

Without economic goals and guidelines, developers are vying for their own interests in what has become a symbol of civic inaction, said Ryan Horton, senior analyst at the Public Policy Forum, a Milwaukee-based think-tank.

"When you have a policy void, something has to fill that void," Horton said at an economic summit sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "If there's no policy that's transparent and has accountability in place, something else will fill that void and that's exactly what's happened in the Park East corridor."

Less than two weeks ago, a handful of prominent developers bemoaned the lack of leadership, gridlock and confusion in the efforts to breathe economic life in the Park East, a prominent parcel that's little more than an expanse of gravel and gulls.

The Public Policy Forum in November ignited a heated debate over the city's economic leadership, charging that the city has no overarching economic-development goals, leaving unclear who is accountable for economic policy in City Hall. The Forum, which dissected the city's economic spending, also found that it haphazardly doles out more than $100 million each year in "disjointed" efforts without the "reporting, tracking and accountability" necessary to monitor its economic investments.

As a result, the report found, most of the city's scarce resources end up being channeled into shopping centers, street beautification and housing, making the city "a real-estate development machine, not a job development machine."

Horton, who was the author of the November report, used Thursday's economic summit to cite cities such as Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., which have detailed priorities for city investment, metrics to measure success, accountability and scoring mechanisms that determine projects that merit public dollars.

"We don't have a mechanism like this in Milwaukee right now," Horton said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has accelerated efforts to draft a citywide economic plan after the Forum's report.
Working with consultant

The city disclosed Thursday that it hired a consultant this year to draft a citywide economic plan with instructions to finish it this year.

According to Andrea Rowe, a spokeswoman for the Department of City Development, the city turned to Vandewalle & Associates, based in Madison. The firm describes itself as an economic research and planning consultancy that relishes the challenges facing the industrial Midwest.

Vandewalle & Associates is at work on an economic master plan for the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin. The plan will be published this month. In that case, Vandewalle is working for the seven-county economic-development agency called the Milwaukee 7, which was formed two years ago.

The M-7 plan, when it is finished, will be the first broad attempt at economic planning in the region's history.

Rowe noted that the city created a 2004 Park East Redevelopment plan. The existence of those guidelines, however, hasn't prevented a public dispute among developers over real-estate subsidies from the city.
Effects on businesses?

In another recent planning effort, which is not complete, city officials are at work on a study that will consider the effects of any new downtown developments, including those in the Park East, on existing downtown businesses, such as The Shops of Grand Avenue. The study is meant to help the city determine which proposals should receive financial help.

Horton welcomed the recent efforts to draw up plans and priorities.
Pretty illuminating, unfortunately. I've been whining about this Dept. of Development's lack of initiative and planning for awhile now. I'm not saying there's an easy answer to this issue, but that's what these professional people are paid for. I'd submit that there's been too much sitting around over at City Hall, and watching a lot of positive stuff happening while taking credit for it. But, now that things are getting messy, the DCD seems to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (ie. no definite direction in mind).
The fact that the Park East parcel has yet to have a hole dug into it is terribly embarrassing -- and telling -- for the DCD. Not only could there be opportunities lost due to lack of planning, but this rudderless group may very well be hurting future growth as developers cast a wary eye on how things (don't) get done in Milwaukee.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #1366
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Pretty illuminating, unfortunately. I've been whining about this Dept. of Development's lack of initiative and planning for awhile now. I'm not saying there's an easy answer to this issue, but that's what these professional people are paid for. I'd submit that there's been too much sitting around over at City Hall, and watching a lot of positive stuff happening while taking credit for it. But, now that things are getting messy, the DCD seems to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (ie. no definite direction in mind).
The fact that the Park East parcel has yet to have a hole dug into it is terribly embarrassing -- and telling -- for the DCD. Not only could there be opportunities lost due to lack of planning, but this rudderless group may very well be hurting future growth as developers cast a wary eye on how things (don't) get done in Milwaukee.
Agreed, the whole thing is just absurd. Absolutely absurd. I've been here nearly 3 years now, and live just blocks away from this wasteland. And nothing, nothing at all has even broken ground yet.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #1367
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How many times do you all have to be reminded that the COUNTY owns the Park East land?
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #1368
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Yea apparently the City should of started selling the County's land! Hey Skyking2 can I sell your land? (assuming you own some)
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #1369
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DooMer_MP3> Umm the Flatiron is part of the Park East and it has definitely broken ground (4 stories up now i think)... oh yea that was the City's land.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #1370
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wow. Two more lakefront towers? Watch out Chicago. Seriously, Milwaukee could have a very long skyline view from the Lakefront.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 08:27 PM   #1371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyking2 View Post
Pretty illuminating, unfortunately. I've been whining about this Dept. of Development's lack of initiative and planning for awhile now. I'm not saying there's an easy answer to this issue, but that's what these professional people are paid for. I'd submit that there's been too much sitting around over at City Hall, and watching a lot of positive stuff happening while taking credit for it. But, now that things are getting messy, the DCD seems to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off (ie. no definite direction in mind).
The fact that the Park East parcel has yet to have a hole dug into it is terribly embarrassing -- and telling -- for the DCD. Not only could there be opportunities lost due to lack of planning, but this rudderless group may very well be hurting future growth as developers cast a wary eye on how things (don't) get done in Milwaukee.
I'm not flaming you Skyking2, I just take issue with the whole report premise. The idea is that the city is not helping to create new jobs in Milwaukee, that it is focusing on developing real estate. That has been true, but the fact has been that those agencies that directed the job development efforts for the area, notably, The Private Industry Council and the county, were responsible.

Due to the recent report, Barrett has requested and has been granted the authority for this role. So, if in a year nothing has happened, then you can blame the city. Also, the city has been pushing for less restrictions on development but they also don't want to be subsidising it either.

I don't know what is so confusing about the city's priorities for the parkeast. This is what I've picked up that they will TIF, all of it they will allow unsubsidised.

Residential: The city will not give a TIF for a residential development unless their is serious environmental contamination like Mandel's North End.

Office: The city will not TIF for a company moving around downtown, if it is a tenant from outside downtown, they will offer the equivalent in parking costs.

Retail: The city will not TIF for retail in the area as they don't want to take away from the nascent retail district in the 3rd ward, Brady street, or intentionally shift the retail focus away from the Shoppes at the Grand (or whatever it's called now)

Hotel: They will only TIF for projects that are catalysts to other development such as on 4th and Wisconsin, otherwise there are plenty of proposals to meet demand.

These TIF requests are just something to pad the return of the developer and I can't blame them, I would have my hand out too. If the city will fork out a million or two for a project, that goes straight to my pocket.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #1372
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DooMer_MP3> Umm the Flatiron is part of the Park East and it has definitely broken ground (4 stories up now i think)... oh yea that was the City's land.
The city even attempted to purchase the land from the county a few years ago because they knew the county would fark it up. Seriously, the county is embarrasingly disfunctional.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee...22/story1.html
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Old May 11th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #1373
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Yea apparently the City should of started selling the County's land! Hey Skyking2 can I sell your land? (assuming you own some)
It's called P-L-A-N-N-I-N-G, boys and girls. This land in question is within the limits of the City of Milwaukee, within Milwaukee County, and it is in the best interests of the DCD to get it developed appropriately. Yes, I understand this involves working with an absolutely dysfunctional county government, but it HAS TO GET DONE.

Of course, both governmental entities will be tripping all over each other when it comes time to collect taxes...assuming anything ever gets done. Again, I say, there isn't an easy way around this whole TIF tiff, but c'mon already. Perhaps, when election time comes around, "informed" voters will do the right thing (yeah, right) when deciding who should be a County Supervisor. Perhaps Twoaday, the famous land speculator, can lead us to the Promised Land...
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Old May 11th, 2007, 09:55 PM   #1374
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I'm not flaming you Skyking2, I just take issue with the whole report premise. The idea is that the city is not helping to create new jobs in Milwaukee, that it is focusing on developing real estate. That has been true, but the fact has been that those agencies that directed the job development efforts for the area, notably, The Private Industry Council and the county, were responsible.

Due to the recent report, Barrett has requested and has been granted the authority for this role. So, if in a year nothing has happened, then you can blame the city. Also, the city has been pushing for less restrictions on development but they also don't want to be subsidising it either.

I don't know what is so confusing about the city's priorities for the parkeast. This is what I've picked up that they will TIF, all of it they will allow unsubsidised.

Residential: The city will not give a TIF for a residential development unless their is serious environmental contamination like Mandel's North End.

Office: The city will not TIF for a company moving around downtown, if it is a tenant from outside downtown, they will offer the equivalent in parking costs.

Retail: The city will not TIF for retail in the area as they don't want to take away from the nascent retail district in the 3rd ward, Brady street, or intentionally shift the retail focus away from the Shoppes at the Grand (or whatever it's called now)

Hotel: They will only TIF for projects that are catalysts to other development such as on 4th and Wisconsin, otherwise there are plenty of proposals to meet demand.

These TIF requests are just something to pad the return of the developer and I can't blame them, I would have my hand out too. If the city will fork out a million or two for a project, that goes straight to my pocket.
That is a great summary of the current state of things, nice job. And in my opinion, those are all very reasonable and practical.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:36 PM   #1375
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Indeed....well everyone knows my views on TIFs, I don't think I need to repeat everything all over again. The viewpoints presented though kinda scare me - since it sounds like most would enjoy viewing vacant parcels over developments thanks to a few tax breaks. I think I'm becoming slowly, very slowly, into another skyking (sorry if you took that offensive ), but we really need to get real on this whole issue. And the city did dig themselves into holes when they approved of various TIFs for projects and declined for others. Is favoritism going on here? Is there something behind the scenes that no one knows about? There are questions that need to be answered, and there's land in the area where tourists and visitors go out of all the Milwaukee metro area that needs to be built up. Let's not look foolish.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #1376
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And the city did dig themselves into holes when they approved of various TIFs for projects and declined for others. Is favoritism going on here? Is there something behind the scenes that no one knows about? There are questions that need to be answered, and there's land in the area where tourists and visitors go out of all the Milwaukee metro area that needs to be built up. Let's not look foolish.

What specific TIFs are you referring to?
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:55 PM   #1377
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That is a great summary of the current state of things, nice job. And in my opinion, those are all very reasonable and practical.
Yeah, a pretty good summary assuming this is completely accurate. But, assuming this information is accurate, that still doesn't change the fact that nothing is getting done. That's my point. We need people in place who can get things done and make the deals happen.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #1378
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Yeah, a pretty good summary assuming this is completely accurate. But, assuming this information is accurate, that still doesn't change the fact that nothing is getting done. That's my point. We need people in place who can get things done and make the deals happen.
A very good point, but first we have to know who's responsible. The whole county board is dysfunctional, I'm not a conservative but I support cutting the county board, their pay, and taking away responsiblities that are able to moved elsewhere. I don't exactly know how it got this way, but the only way I see to fix it is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 11:57 PM   #1379
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brew>

"And the city did dig themselves into holes when they approved of various TIFs for projects and declined for others. Is favoritism going on here? Is there something behind the scenes that no one knows about? "

The ONLY one showing any favoritism is D'Amato. Leading the charge to put politics (and open pandoras box) ahead of the city and the same process that's been in place for years. The TIFs in question didn't met the guidlines that DCD has in fact made very clear, it was basically a suburban stip mall, will not be catalytic, would hurt existing business, doesn't have public improvements (like the north end), isn't a huge brownfield and on and on.

RIGHT NOW the Staybridge is going up at Juneau and Water with NO TIF. Gee somehow they worked their numbers out. RIGHT NOW the FlatIron is going up with NO TIF. hmmm

Simply because some developer says "Hey I got a project" does not mean it requires a TIF, it might, sometimes yea it's needed, but not every project and not everytime.

sky>
"Perhaps, when election time comes around, "informed" voters will do the right thing (yeah, right) when deciding who should be a County Supervisor. Perhaps Twoaday, the famous land speculator, can lead us to the Promised Land..." soon enough... soon enough
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Old May 12th, 2007, 03:00 AM   #1380
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Two>

Please. Enough's enough. TIFs were approved way before D'Amato waltzed in this subject. The Mandel projects and The Brewery are two strong examples of this. Staybridge and the FlatIron are two small projects. How in the world is a suburban strip mall going up on RSC's land? You read what Markitect posted - yeah some wasn't exactly appealing but there were plenty of other more upscale options that you refuse to consider as possible tenants and instead just degrade the whole damn thing because Target was hinted but not confirmed NONE were confirmed as a matter of fact. If something like a Target would be confirmed then absolutely label it whatever you damn please but for now quit the griping and wait and see what the hell he wants to do.
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