The plan was made public on November 17 and calls for new urban development, active waterfront uses, and environmental restoration within a “Working Waterfront.”

The Water and Land Use Plan for the Harbor District, an area including Port Milwaukee and surrounding land and waterways, is the culmination of two years of intensive planning and public input.

“Many people have come together during this planning process to contribute their ideas and thoughts about the future of the Harbor District. There is wide-ranging agreement that we should preserve the area’s positive elements while bringing new jobs to the district, carrying out environmental and ecological restoration projects, and connecting people to the water,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “HDI and all the partners who created this plan have incorporated suggestions from a wide mix of participants, providing a strong vision for the future of our waterfront.”

The plan maintains a strong industrial base within the area, but concentrates the heaviest uses on the Jones Island peninsula. It foresees the continued transition of older manufacturing and warehouse buildings to new uses, including offices and housing in some areas, while ensuring that vacant land is available for new, modern manufacturing uses.

Continuing Milwaukee’s turn toward its rivers, the plan proposes a riverwalk through much of the area, and provides for both commercial and recreational use of the inner harbor and adjoining land. It includes a concept for a new park that would provide active waterfront recreation and greenspace for the near south side.

The plan has its roots in the 2014 City of Milwaukee Sustainability Plan, ReFresh Milwaukee. With an eye to the role the area can play in supporting Milwaukee’s status as a “Water-Centric City”, the plan envisions partnerships to achieve better stormwater management, improved water quality, and innovative habitat on land and in the water.

“The Harbor District can be a remarkable live-work-play neighborhood. HDI looks forward to working with a broad cross section of partners to achieve its potential,” said HDI Executive Director Lilith Fowler.

Harbor District, Inc. (HDI)

City of Milwaukee