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City picks firms to lead update of downtown Milwaukee strategic plan

Milwaukee officials have hired a team of architecture and engineering firms to oversee a reimagining of the city’s downtown.

After starting an RFP process last spring, city officials selected Kubala Washatko Architects, HNTB, American Design and raSmith to provide urban design services as Milwaukee begins drafting a new master plan for the city’s downtown. Consultant P3 Development Group will also oversee equity and engagement work on the project.

The revised downtown plan, called “Connec+ing MKE 2040,” will modify the 2010 plan to guide land-use decisions, the redevelopment of important sites and improvements to streets and public spaces in the next decade or two. A priority of the revised plan will be downtown’s connections to nearby neighborhoods, according to the city. The revised report is one of 14 that make up Milwaukee’s comprehensive plan. The plan is expected to be completed in 2022.

“Milwaukee experienced a major renaissance following the Downtown Area Plan’s adoption in 2010,” said Lafayette Crump, commissioner of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development. “Looking at how far we’ve come is inspiring, but we know there’s more to do in ensuring Downtown is a place for every resident, in every neighborhood, to feel welcome and connected to our city.”

Milwaukee’s previous downtown plan provided details for several projects that have since been built or are underway. Among them is the addition of a streetcar, an overhaul of West Wisconsin Avenue and improvements to public spaces at the Lakefront Gateway area. Downtown Milwaukee has seen about $3.5 billion in completed public and private projects in the past decade, and another $2.5 billion worth of work is under construction or expected to begin soon, according to the Department of City Development.

About Nate Beck, [email protected]

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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