Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and the Economic Development Division announced the next phase in developing the Park East Corridor at Block 22 on April 23.

The Milwaukee County land, which comprises a block between North Water and East Ogden to North Broadway and North Milwaukee, will be available to developers through a request for proposal (RFP).

Block 22 is the last publicly-controlled land in the Park East Corridor, which has attracted more than $1 billion in investment and $2 billion in economic impact in recent years. Since County Executive Chris Abele came to office in 2011, he has made it a priority to develop the Park East corridor, which sat almost entirely vacant since the freeway removal was completed.

“The Park East Corridor has grown tremendously over the past several years, and the sale of Block 22 will be the capstone of development on a once desolate area of Milwaukee,” said Chris Abele, County Executive. “The area continues to spur economic growth and add local jobs, all while building a strong entertainment district for our residents and visitors. I look forward to working with a developer who understands what it means to take vacant land and transform it into something that will be positive for the community.”

The Block 22 RFP is for the two lots which total more than 99,650 square feet. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first quarterly review expected this summer.

“Recent development in the Park East Corridor is living proof of what can happen when the county, residents and developers come together to take an area that was forgotten and reinvent it for the future of the community,” said Aaron Hertzberg, Milwaukee County Director of Economic Development. “We are confident development at Block 22 will generate new jobs while keeping the downtown area at the cutting edge of where people go to live, work and play in Milwaukee County.”

Proposed submissions are expected to range from residential, commercial, retail or mixed-use development. Block 22 is also located within a designated Opportunity Zone, a federal program which allows investors to access capital gains tax incentives if certain qualifications are met.

“The transformation of the Park East corridor has contributed greatly to the revitalization of Milwaukee’s downtown, bringing jobs and economic activity,” said Supreme Moore Omokunde, County Supervisor of the 10th District. “As we look towards the final stage of development in the Park East, we have responsibility to protect access to affordable housing, and ensure that nearby residents aren’t displaced by a rising cost of living.”

The property is the last publicly-controlled land from the Park East Freeway Corridor area, which physically segregated McKinley and Ogden Avenues off from the downtown area. Removal of the freeway structure in 2002 allowed for the reestablishment of the city street grid and opened up the land beneath and around the freeway corridor for redevelopment as a high quality residential, commercial and entertainment area.

Recent developments in the Park East corridor includes: the Fiserv Forum and a downtown practice facility for the Milwaukee Bucks; the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center; residential and mixed-use developments including the Moderne; and new office space for Bader Rutter, Manpower Group, Hammes Company and other local businesses.

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