Downtown could be positioned for a population boom

Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 20:53:08-05

The downtown Milwaukee building boom was the subject of a recent study commissioned by the group Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District #21. It took a look at where the city has been and where it needs to go in the future, shedding light on interesting data along the way.

The study shows that 26,000 people currently call downtown Milwaukee home, but that could change in the next year. That's because some 2,200 housing units are coming available or will be completed in 2017.

While the downtown area is physically a small part of the city, it makes up for 4.3% of the total population. It also shows that the people that are moving downtown tend to be higher earners with a median income about 29% higher than the city's average.

Millennials and baby boomers make up much of the population according to Milwaukee Downtown's Economic Development Director Matt Dorner.

"You have the young professionals fresh out of college who are moving to Downtown Milwaukee. You also have empty nesters and product that is being built for those folks" Dorner said.

But there aren't many condos for those empty nesters to buy. Milwaukee Real Estate Agent David Price says the demand for condos is much behind the supply.

"In the south of Shorewood, north of the 5th Ward and east of the river there's 136 condos for sale right now, compared to 2004 when there was 400 condos for sale,” Price said.

That lack of housing for long term purchases can be troubling according to Price.

"The pride of ownership really helps the local market. It’s good to have $5 million dollar apartment buildings being built, that does help the economy. But the owner occupied units will fare better, people will put more money into them" Price said.

The continual evolution of transportation is cited as a way to grow the population even more. The area needs more schools, grocery stores, medical clinics, and public spaces according to the study.

Read it for yourself here.

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