Downtown Milwaukee is booming


RE Journals | Dan Rafter

Any barometer you want to use. Sales. Rents. Vacancies. New development. Steve Palec, chief marketing officer with the Milwaukee office of Irgens, says they all highlight just how busy Milwaukee’s commercial real estate market is today.

As Palec says, 2020 has looked a lot like 2019 for Milwaukee’s commercial real estate market. And that’s good news for commercial brokers here.

“Last year was off the charts,” Palec said. “So this year being similar is great. If you compare the last couple of years to the 10 years before those, it’s like comparing Danny DeVito to Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

No offense to DeVito, but Milwaukee’s commercial real estate market is especially muscular today. That’s largely because developers have flocked to the city, particularly its downtown, to add new office space, hotels, entertainment venues and, of course, apartment units.

And the best news? Commercial professionals working in this city say that Milwaukee’s hot market isn’t about to cool off anytime soon.

Just ask Palec. He’s a longtime veteran of Milwaukee’s CRE business. He can’t predict how long Milwaukee’s construction blitz will last. But he doesn’t see developers losing interest in his city soon.

“Everything in the last five years compared to the 35 I’ve worked in commercial real estate here is truly off the charts,” Palec said.

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