“One of the benefits of the new rolling RFP process is that timelines matters less than the quality of projects,” said Milwaukee County Economic Development Director Teig Whaley-Smith. “ While we have not received any responses yet, we continue to hear strong interest from the development community and look forward to future proposals.”
The uncertainty about the future site of a proposed new arena in downtown Milwaukee appears to be one reason for the lack of response to the Park East RFP, county officials said.
“Understandably, some of the developers are waiting to see what happens with a potential arena before moving forward with specific plans in the Park East and other areas across the city,” Whaley-Smith said.
In June a new marketing program and a streamlined development approval process for the long vacant Park East corridor was unveiled by a collaboration of city, county and state officials and the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin. The public can view the marketing plan for the Park East corridor at: http://parkeastmke.com.
The Park East freeway spur, located on the north side of downtown Milwaukee, was torn down about 11 years ago in hopes of opening up land for development. But development has been slow to come to the former freeway corridor, which is mostly owned by Milwaukee County.
The area in the new Park East corridor marketing plan lies west of the Milwaukee River between West McKinley Avenue and West Juneau Avenue and between Old World Third Street and the former Pabst brewery complex. The area cover about 11 acres.
A key component of the new Park East effort is a joint city-county rolling RFP process to sell sites in the Park East corridor to developers. Details of the process are laid out on the Park East web site. The RFPs will be subjected to a streamlined and concurrent city-county review process.
The RFP will remain open until all available blocks of the Park East are under option. Though proposals can be submitted to the County Clerk’s office (901 N. 9th St., Room 105, Milwaukee, WI 53233) at any time, they will only be reviewed once per month. The deadline for review will be 4 p.m. on the first Monday of each month.