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A new era for the 30th Street Industrial Corridor

The Master Lock plant on Milwaukee's north side.
Chuck Quirmbach
The Master Lock plant on Milwaukee's north side recently announced it will be leaving the area in March 2024.

Once a major node of Milwaukee's manufacturing industry, city leaders are now looking for a new blueprint for the 30th Street Industrial Corridor.

Once the site of major manufacturers like Briggs & Stratton, A.O. Smith and Badger Meter, these manufacturing giants have either closed or moved out of the area. Most recently, Master Lock announced that it will be winding down operations and leaving the area by March 2024.

Rich Rovito, a contributing writer for Milwaukee Magazine, wrote about the area's recent development progress. In the article he writes that while the area's history is in heavy manufacturing, it's future is more diversified, with brewing companies and urban farms operating alongside engineering and manufacturing firms. Rovito also hinted that the area's development leaders are working on landing a satellite campus for a historically Black college or university, or HBCU, though leaders declined to disclose which HBCU they were in talks with.

In an interview with Lake Effect's Sam Woods, Rovito explains that the development strategy is not focused solely on manufacturing, but on attracting both businesses and people to the area by including recreation spaces in the area's development, such as a bike trail.

"The laser focus on just having this be a center for industry in the last few years has maybe stymied some efforts there in some ways. I think you have to make the area as a whole more attractive as a place to live," Rovito said.


Sam is a WUWM production assistant for Lake Effect.
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