Public Policy Forum Blog

Forum studying “what worked” in Menomonee Valley redevelopment

In his annual “state of the city” speech on Monday morning, Mayor Barrett announced plans to step up efforts to redevelop two vacant industrial parks in Milwaukee. “With the Menomonee Valley Industrial Center nearly complete,” he said, “we are focusing on similar business parks at Century City and Reed Street Yards.” Century City is the former Tower Automotive/A.O. Smith site on the city’s north side, and Reed Street Yards in located in the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.

The redevelopment of Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley is widely viewed as a success and is frequently cited as a model to follow in redeveloping other industrial areas in the city. But how was the Valley transformed from what was once considered the city’s most prominent eyesore into a thriving center of industry, entertainment, and recreation?

At the Public Policy Forum, we are launching a new research study that will explore the question of “what worked and how” in redeveloping the Menomonee Valley. This effort will identify key policies, players, and activities that contributed to the Valley’s successful redevelopment outcomes and will assess their relative applicability to similar efforts elsewhere, such as at Century City. Look for a report on our research findings this summer.

Joe Peterangelo