Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (NWSCDC) is seeking to partner with Opportunity Zone investments in our target market in Milwaukee. The Opportunity Zone census tracts in Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor are also New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) eligible areas, and may include numerous other development incentives. NWSCDC is prepared to assist in assembling State and Local development incentives to spur further investment.
Opportunity Zones provide a new economic development incentive which was created by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation passed in 2017. In 2018, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) proposed the list of Census Tracts for Wisconsin Opportunity Zones. NWSCDC assisted WHEDA by nominating qualified census tracts in our target market for OZ designation.
NWSCDC is a place-based community economic development entity which has served the Northwest Side of Milwaukee, WI since 1983. In recent years NWSCDC has been certified by the US Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Our business loan fund provides low-interest financing to help attract and grow companies that will grow new jobs in our community. Since the year 2000 we have completed over $10 million in loans to businesses which have created over 1,000 new jobs. Our loans typically fill gaps in a larger capital stack involving one or more other financing partners. NWSCDC has partnered on projects involving LIHTC and NMTC as well.
Milwaukee’s designated Opportunity Zones are well-positioned to attract new investment. NWSCDC is a coordinating partner for OZ investments in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor and nearby areas. The 30th Street Industrial Corridor area includes hundreds of acres of land available for Industrial, Commercial, and Residential development as well as numerous existing buildings available for re-use and revitalization. Critically, the OZ areas in Milwaukee and the 30th Street Industrial Corridor specifically contain the needed community infrastructure – job density, housing diversity, and walkability – to justify smart OZ investments. A December 2018 article in BisNow notes that only 2% of OZ Census Tracts nationally meet these criteria. Milwaukee’s Opportunity Zones, especially those in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor, were chosen to capitalize on existing assets with available workforce, housing, and utility service, among other things. This area promises huge potential for investment, a low cost of living, dependable access to workforce, transportation, energy and water.
The MidWest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) promotes the energy, power and controls industry cluster which has deep roots in Milwaukee’s northwest side. M-WERC is co-located with NWSCDC in the Century City Tower. Milwaukee is also home to The Water Council and the Food and Beverage (FAB Wisconsin) clusters.
Our new neighbor Good City Brewing was prepared to quickly take advantage of the recent IRS regulations and guidance to invest in the Century City business park at the heart of the 30th Street Industrial Corridor. The business park has 50 acres still available for industrial development, and surrounding OZ census tracts have additional space to accommodate industrial, commercial and residential investment.
See the high-resolution maps below for details on Milwaukee-area Opportunity Zones and the NWSCDC priority area in the North Corridor.