PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
As Milwaukee considers building a light rail transit system, it is important to recognize that rail transit station-areas can be more than merely places where people board a train. Rather, properly planned and supported by public policy, station-areas can be catalysts for commercial, business, and residential redevelopment and a linchpin for community-wide revitalization.
To make more concrete the possibilities of transit-oriented inner city redevelopment in Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Economic Development, with the advice and input of several neighborhood organizations, has sketched a draft "Transitional Area Development Plan" for the area surrounding a potential light rail station at 27th Street and Wisconsin Avenue.
The report is not offered as a "blueprint" for development around this particular station. Rather, it is presented to indicate, in a concrete but preliminary way: a) the kinds of development opportunities that could be associated with light rail in this station-are; and 2) the types of expenditures and policies, in addition to the basic transit investment, necessary to develop these opportunities.
The building of a transit station will not automatically result in the economic revitalization of the 27th Street and Wisconsin Avenue station-area. But, as a component in an overall west side redevelopment strategy -- stretching from Miller Brewing through the Campus Circle project -- the light rail station area can help promote neighborhood revitalization.
Debate needs to occur on: 1) precisely what kinds of investments should accompany the proposed light rail stop; and 2) how the rail station area should be configured to maximize the development potential that exists in the neighborhood. The proposals offered in this report are modestly presented as a starting point for this community discussion.
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Last Updated: April 1, 2008