The Park East Redevelopment Plan is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Milwaukee Downtown Plan and serves as the implementation tool guiding redevelopment of the area.
Gone is the physical barrier and blighting influence that was the freeway spur, separating Downtown from the vibrant Milwaukee historic Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, The Brewery, MATC’s Downtown campus, Old World Third Street, Brady Street, Halyard Park, Hillside, and Carver Park neighborhoods.
In its place, McKinley Avenue, an inviting six-lane, tree-lined boulevard that is conducive to a high-quality redevelopment project and improved traffic flow. Blocks are arranged to maximize buildable land and increase access opportunities.
In short, the infrastructure provides for the highest long-term value for the Downtown and surrounding areas—as well as a stronger connection with riverfront activities and those in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Today, the Park East comprises three distinct yet interrelated city districts, each with their own character and complementary mix-use guidelines:
McKinley Avenue District – Easy freeway access, high visibility, easily assembled larger parcels, and adjacent entertainment venues make this district conducive to corporate and multi-tenant office buildings.
Lower Water Street District – Characterized by a mix of activities that complement existing entertainment uses, high-level pedestrian activity, intense riverfront uses, and linkages to surrounding neighborhoods.
Upper Water Street District – Offers high-value, Downtown residential neighborhoods, featuring a new public square and an array of mixed uses, such as live-work units, supporting retail, and entertainment activities.
When the collaborative marketing effort was established, the following were identified as the guiding principles of Park East redevelopment –
- Promote residential and office mixed-use developments
- Extend RiverWalk in front of the new mixed-use buildings
- Enhance pedestrian connections across and around the river
- Enhance the success of the Water Street entertainment venues
- Provide urban open space
Purple shading in the map below delineates the prime location of Downtown Milwaukee’s Park East neighborhood.