Downtown development leaders for Madison and Milwaukee say business is booming in the state’s two largest cities as each continues to rebound from the pandemic lull.

“Now is the time to really say, everyone in the community, let’s bet on downtown Madison, let’s bet on downtown Milwaukee, as a true economic development generator for the entire region, because this is where the action happens,” Downtown Madison President Jason Ilstrup said yesterday during a Wisconsin Policy Forum luncheon event in Milwaukee. “This is where people want to be.”

Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, highlighted “overwhelming confidence” among both employers and real estate developers in the city’s downtown area. She pointed to the area’s relatively low residential vacancy rate as a great asset, as well as a challenge for the city.

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