Competitive Advantages

Competitive Advantages Leading To Business Recruitment

Downtown Milwaukee is the economic, cultural, and social hub of southeastern Wisconsin. Since 2005, over $4.1 billion in private and public projects have been completed and more than $3.4 billion more of investment is currently under construction or slated to start soon, spurring a dramatic turnaround that has re-established downtown as one of the most vibrant centers of commerce in the Midwest. Downtown Milwaukee is on a roll! Click here to view the catalytic projects in the pipeline.


Downtown is the Perfect Location for Your Business and Employees

Millennials to empty nesters are moving downtown in droves, and entertainment options, restaurants, and bars are booming. The environment for businesses in downtown Milwaukee has never been more attractive, and the proof is in the constant business expansion and relocation announcements. From employee satisfaction to convenience and prestige, downtown Milwaukee offers so many competitive advantages. It’s time to get down here. 


CEOs Discuss Downtown

In 2006, in order to answer these and other questions, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 implemented a survey and research project focused on downtown business executives to gauge the downtown Milwaukee business environment. The result was two data-based statistical reports containing key findings and recommendations that helped guide policy measures and initiatives to support the long-term success of downtown companies. Some of the key report findings included:

  • The downtown business climate is generally positive and improving
  • Average wage for downtown employees is significantly higher than the metropolitan area as a whole
  • Employment, sales, and profitability are all trending positively
  • Downtown needs a strong and growing regional business base
  • Parking is a reoccurring challenge and has its greatest impact on the employees at the lower end of the wage scale
  • Workforce shortages are a looming threat

Your Decision Starts with Sound Statistics


  • The highest knowledge and skill levels of the region's labor force exists downtown, as downtown businesses employ nearly 85,000 workers
  • Best location for attracting the growing, educated workforce living in the entire metropolitan area. More than 50% of the 26,000 people living in downtown neighborhoods are between the ages of 20 - 34, making downtown a young professional haven
  • More than 71% of downtown residents, 25 years and older, hold associates, bachelors, graduate or other advanced degrees. Of that, 67% have earned at least their bachelor's degree
  • Professional relationships and network opportunities abound that aid in creating knowledge spillovers, connect employers with employees and support entrepreneurial development
  • Largest concentration of Wisconsin's nine Fortune 500 headquarters


  • A regional center for Government Services, Professional and Technical Services; Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate; Hospitality; and Information/Media Services, and southeastern Wisconsin’s growing startup community
  • Confluence of interstate highways (I-43, I-94, I-794, I-894)
  • Public transportation options with Milwaukee County Transit Service, Bublr Bike share, and The Hop
  • Central access to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station with seven - 90 minute Amtrak roundtrips to downtown Chicago daily as well as access to the Badger and MegaBus system.  The Intermodal Station serves more than 1.5 million people annually
  • 15 minutes from General Mitchell International Airport, which in the last year alone has added ten new nonstop flights to destinations such as Portland, OR, Nashville, TN, Miami, FL and more
  • 75 minutes to O’Hare International Airport for additional flight options
  • The Hop's 2.5 mile route will initially connect downtown’s major employers, highest density residential neighborhoods, the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, Lake Michigan, and the Historic Third Ward
  • Expanding Bublr Bike bicycle system has over 60 stations downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods, with plans to have more than 100 stations in the near future
  • Access to the Wisconsin Center, the state’s largest convention center plus over 64,000 seats for major arts, culture, theater, music, and sports attractions pulling in more than 12 million annual visitors


  • Convenient, nearby services for businesses and employees with multiple ways for access
  • Wonderful freshwater amenities with Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River
  • More than 300 various restaurants, major sports/cultural attractions and after-work nightlife options that provide energy, excitement and ample opportunities for business and social networking
  • Remarkable architecture and new infrastructure includes award-winning streetscapes, landscaping, parks and plazas
  • Colleges, universities, research centers and K-12 school systems that drive innovation, train the labor force and contribute to the region's quality of life. Downtown is home to 5 major colleges/universities and technical colleges with more than 67,000 students enrolled


  • Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District (BID #21) supports supplemental patrols, daily cleaning of streets and sidewalks, full-time hospitality and safety guides, as well as graffiti removal, sidewalk power washing and other special services as needed
  • Be within steps of signature events like Downtown Dining Week, Downtown Employee Appreciation Week, Holiday Lights Festival, NEWaukee Night Market, Jazz in the Park, River Rhythms, farmers markets, and more


  • With an office inventory of more than 12 million square feet, you can find diverse workspaces from modern, high-rise office towers with Lake Michigan and Milwaukee River views, to innovative loft spaces in renovated, historic structures to one of our many co-working collaborative spaces
  • Downtown features state-of-the-art telecommunication services, multiple fiber-optic networks, redundant power and affordable utilities