Only an hour north of Chicago, Milwaukee is located on the Southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin at a population of nearly 600,000 as of 2010.
Settled in 1785 by Alexis Laframboise, a French Canadian, Milwaukee started as a simple trading post. It even achieved notoriety during the Prohibition era as a hangout for Chicago gangster Al Capone, who owned a home in the suburb of Brookfield, which still stands today.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Milwaukee?” Yeah, you’re right…beer. Not just any beer, but good German beer. At one time, Milwaukee was home to Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst and Miller, earning it the reputation as a beer town. In fact, as far back as 1843, it was reported that the town had 138 bars – an average of 1 for every 40 residents.
Although only Miller Brewing Company remains in the town, employing more than 2,200 individuals, Milwaukee is still known as a beer town even though beer manufacturing makes up only a small part of its economy.
Known as part of the “rust belt” of industrial based towns, Milwaukee’s population decline (due to loss of industry) has been less than that of other such states. Positive efforts to draw businesses to the area and revitalize neighborhoods like Walker’s Point, Bayview, the Historic Third Ward, and Lincoln Village has helped Milwaukee stay competitive.
According to Trulia.com, the average price per square foot for Milwaukee homes was at $153, representing an increase of 19.5% when compared to the same time last year. The median price for Milwaukee homes was at a very affordable $94,000 – based on the sale of 1,239 homes. This number represents a decrease of 2.1% when compared to the same time frame last year.
The average listing price on Trulia.com for homes was at $149,512 for the week ending June 20 – an increase of 0.3% compared to the week prior. Over the last 5 years, sales prices have gone down by a lot – 26.3%, which is obviously great news for buyers, not so great for sellers.
Neighborhoods in Waukesha County which are doing well include Delafield, Waukesha, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Waukesha, Sussex, Wales, New Berlin, Dousman, North Prairie, Mukwonago, Chenequa, Menomonee Falls, Brookfield, Elm Grove, Okauchee, Eagle, Muskego and Merton.
Milwaukee has a diverse business profile. As of 2010, businesses in Waukesha County totaled 12,520, and employed individuals in industries such as construction, manufacturing, finance, education, health, waste management and more. Payroll for the first quarter of 2010 was $2,406,173.00 for all sectors.
According to a study by McGill University in January, 2000, Milwaukee ranks number 6 among US and Canadian cities for number of college students per 100 residents. Students have a choice of higher education venues – Carroll University (Waukesha), Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin (Wauwatosa), Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee School of Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee or the Wisconsin Lutheran College
Sports fans have a lot to cheer about, whether they’re favorite team is the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Wave, Milwaukee Bucks or the Milwaukee Mustangs. For the more arts minded individual, an afternoon visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum or perhaps meeting friends for a night at the Florentine Opera would be enjoyable. No matter your interest, there’s always something to see and do in Milwaukee.
Depending upon your political “DNA”, the recent recall failure of Scott Walker will either help or hinder business and real estate in Milwaukee. What do you think?