The Beerline “B” neighborhood refers to a former industrial rail line along what is now Commerce Street, between East Pleasant Street and North Humboldt Avenue. In the late 1990’s the City began a focused effort to bring this area back to use. The first step was the creation of a Redevelopment Plan that created a vision for the new neighborhood which included mixed use, predominately residential development. To ensure the continuation and extension of the City’s RiverWalk System, the Redevelopment Plan required a public/private RiverWalk along the Beerline. Next, the City created a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) District to fund the environmental cleanup of the area and to put in the public improvements needed for private development to occur. Rail lines were removed, contaminated soil was excavated and new streets, utilities, bridges, staircases, and public parks were built. RiverWalk funding was set aside as a match for future developments.
Following the infrastructure improvements, private development began with the conversion of the former Gimbels warehouse into the Brewer’s Point Apartments. Since 2001, more than ten new condominium and mixed-use projects have been constructed, representing $87 million in value. More than 1000 linear feet of RiverWalk has been completed and given the completion of the Beerline B Apartments Riverwalk, one is able to walk the edge of the river from Pleasant Street to the North Avenue Dam with only a minor interruption near Humboldt Avenue.
Construction of RiverWalks along the Beerline section must follow the Milwaukee River Design Guidelines.