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Downtown Milwaukee's new numbers

It's less than two square miles, but Downtown Milwaukee has more than 10 percent of the city's tax base. It is the economic and entertainment heart of the city, not to mention the entire state. It's also a growing residential neighborhood with more people living in greater Downtown than Shorewood and Whitefish Bay combined.

According to The Atlantic, Milwaukee's not alone in this Downtown growth.  As Nate Berg recently reported, "In all U.S. metro areas, 16.1 million people were living within two miles of City Hall by 2010, about six percent of the total metro area population of 258 million."

How does Downtown truly add up? What are its new numbers? Milwaukee Downtown, the Business Improvement District that covers Downtown proper, has released new key economic indicators.  

So, here they are, just the facts.  Here are Downtown's new numbers.

  • More than $1.7 billion in development investment has taken place since 2005
  • More than $400 million in additional projects are currently under construction
  • Since 2000, population has increased by 25.5 percent
  • More than 81,000 workers are employed within Downtown
  • 31.5 percent of these workers have college or advanced degrees
  • 60.4 percent of the study area employees live less than 10 miles from work
  • Convention attendance grew by 80.2 percent between 2007 and 2011
  • 3,123 criminal offenses were reported in 2011, down 21.8 percent from 2009
  • 21 percent of Downtown workers are under the age of 29.
  • More than half (51.5%) of Downtown Milwaukee's workers are female, and the majority of employees fall within the age 30 to 54 cohort (60.6%).
  • Downtown's retail vacancy went from 16.9% to 16.0%, and lease rates declined from $19.71 to $18.79 between first quarters 2011 and 2012.
  • Restaurant and bars (37.4%) and personal services (22.5%) are the top two retail categories in Downtown Milwaukee.

Those are numbers. They don't lie.

What are your thoughts about Downtown? What does it need to continue its renaissance? C…

Chicago loves Braise.
Chicago loves Braise.

Braise, Swanson get some love from Chicago

In 2005, I helped introduce Chef Dave Swanson to Milwaukee via this story.

At the time, he was ready to open at what is now Water Buffalo. Obviously, his signature restaurant didn't open until just last year, but in the time between he honed and sharpened Braise to Go and his commitment to local, sustainable ingredients.

Today, Swanson's restaurant Braise is easily one of the hottest in the city and the country.

More accolades for the farm to fork Walker's Point restaurant came yesterday in Chicago.  As I often do when I note positive press for Milwaukee, I wanted to share it.

Please enjoy this great travel feature on Braise from yesterday's Chicago Tribune.  And, kudos to Swanson and his team.  


Bryant's helps keep Milwaukee quirky.
Bryant's helps keep Milwaukee quirky.

An outsider's view of "quirky Milwaukee"

Often it takes a non-local for us locals to appreciate all that Milwaukee has to offer. Admit it, you don't explore our city as much as you'd like. None of us probably do.

Thankfully, though, our fine staff and those from the countless travel sites and blogs continue to find the gems and jewels that make Milwaukee great.

The latest collective list comes from In a post called "Traveler's Guide To Quirky Milwaukee," writer Jessica Festa takes a tour of several of the places that help keep Milwaukee weird and wonderful.

The Bronze Fonz, Bryant's, Kochanski's, Safe House and others made her list.

Enjoy it here and remember to support all of the quirky places that make Milwaukee great.

Beer is still putting Milwaukee on the map.
Beer is still putting Milwaukee on the map.

Milwaukee makes another list, this one is global

Earlier this week, I shared a non beer and brats list that Milwaukee made. Today, it's back to what made us great, beer.

This list, my friends, is pretty cool. Milwaukee, thanks to Milwaukee County Parks and the new Estabrook Park Beer Garden, tops Huffington Post's list of the "Top 10 Beer Gardens in the World." Yep, the world.

Germany is, of course, prominent on the list but Milwaukee's the only city in the United States other than New York to gain exposure on this latest best of list.

Thanks be to our gemütlichkeit. Cheers.