On October 9, 2012, Mayor Barrett announced a recommendation to rename Pittsburgh Avenue to Freshwater Way. The City of Milwaukee had held a contest to rename the street to meet the vision the City, Water Council and the development team have for making the Reed Street Yards a worldwide center of water technology and research. Atlas Development and General Capital, are redeveloping the Reed Street Yards into a water technology and research park. The Milwaukee Water Council has started renovating a building adjacent to the Reed Street Yards, at 3rd Street and Pittsburgh Avenue into the Water Council Accelerator building, which will serve as their headquarters and will house local water companies and institutions. In 2013, a road, utilities, Riverwalk and other infrastructure will be constructed at the Reed Street Yards to create buildable sites for future construction.
Over 650 names were submitted for the contest. A panel that included the local alderman, Jose Perez, along with representatives of the business park land owner, the Milwaukee Water Council, city departments, and John Gurda, the chairman of the Citizen Advisory Committee On The Naming Of Public Buildings, Facilities And Streets chose Freshwater Way because it reflects Milwaukee’s expertise in freshwater industry and science, the abundance of freshwater in the region, and the city’s status as a UN Global Compact city for Freshwater Management. The Citizen Advisory Committee On The Naming Of Public Buildings, Facilities And Streets will now review that name and make a recommendation to the Common Council.