Industrial Land Analysis

An update to the 2004 Industrial Land Analysis is currently underway. See below for more information. 

Final Draft Document

The draft final document for the Industrial Land Analysis is available for review.There will also be a pubilc hearing on Tuesday, September 14th  at the Zoning, Neighborhood, and Development Committee.  For more information about the public hearing, visit this website:



Growing Prosperity, Milwaukee’s 10-year Action Agenda for Economic Development called for a data-driven, location-based approach to attract development to Milwaukee’s industrial areas. Growing Prosperity set forth ambitious goals for Milwaukee to return 500 acres of vacant and underutilized land to productive use for industrial redevelopment and to consistently maintain an inventory of 100 available acres of developable land for manufacturers. To achieve these goals, Growing Prosperity recommended updating the City of Milwaukee’s analysis of industrial zoned land to ensure that zoning regulations and industrial land policies and strategies align with current trends and market forces impacting industrial development, particularly within key regional asset industry clusters identified by the Milwaukee 7.

Milwaukee last carried out such an analysis in 2004, and the time is ripe for an update. The land use and facilities needs of modern manufacturers continue to evolve and Milwaukee must ensure its industrial zoning and land use policies facilitate continued reinvestment and job creation. The seven Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Milwaukee that represent industrial areas have begun to meet regularly to share best practices and collaborate on strategies that will have city-wide impacts. An updated industrial land analysis will help individual BIDs refine their own strategies as well as provide overarching guidance that can be used across the City of Milwaukee to support modern industry through the zoning code and other land use policies.

Key Planning Questions

  • What is the anticipated current and future demand for industrial land within the City of Milwaukee?

  • Is the amount of industrially zoned land within the City of Milwaukee sufficient to meet future demand? If not, what additional strategies can be pursued to meet future demand?

  • If there is an excess of industrially zoned land, or if some sites may no longer be viable for manufacturing uses, under what circumstances is conversion for non-industrial uses appropriate?

  • What are the anticipated future space needs (building sizes, site conditions, location constraints, etc.) of modern manufacturers within Milwaukee’s M7 regional assets industry clusters and among small scale manufacturers who may require multi-tenant spaces or have other unique space needs?

  • Are there strategic adjustments that the City of Milwaukee should consider to its zoning code to meet the future space needs of manufacturers, with a focus on those firms in regional asset industry clusters, as well as small-scale, early-stage local makers?

  • What complementary strategies should the City, its industrial BIDs, and other partners pursue to best support manufacturing job creation and support the goals of Growing Prosperity and the M7 Regional Framework for Economic Growth?

  • What are the quantifiable economic benefits and net fiscal impacts to the City of Milwaukee associated with industrial redevelopment?

  • How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect industrial development?

For More Information

Monica Wauck Smith, AICP
Senior Planner

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