In 2013, the Milwaukee Development Corporation (MDC) acquired additional capital that it decided to reinvest in the Milwaukee community. The result was the creation of the Milwaukee Urban Strategic Investment Corporation (MUSIC) with the purpose of combating urban deterioration, poverty, low educational achievement, juvenile delinquency, criminality and loss of population (both individuals and businesses) in the greater Milwaukee area.
Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee Development Corporation (WAM DC)
MUSIC engaged in downtown planning focused on the redevelopment of Wisconsin Avenue. It provided $2.35 million in financing which helped stabilize the Plankinton building portion of the Grand Avenue Mall. Ownership has since begun construction on a first-floor medical clinic and second floor apartments. The second phase of financing will integrate the Matthews Building to new office areas with a separate entrance above the west Arcade half of the Grand Avenue Mall.
In 2016, MUSIC purchased the “Sushi” building for $2.1 million for future redevelopment along Wisconsin Avenue.
Near West Side Partners (NWSP)
KIVA loan program
In 2016, MUSIC provided $150,000 in matching funding to KIVA – a program focused on expanding financial access to excluded and social impactful U.S. entrepreneurs such as minority, women-owned and central city businesses. In one year, 18 loans were made to qualifying regional businesses totaling $47,925. Five of the (MUSIC?) trustees also matched loans dollar for dollar.
Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) loan program
MUSIC agreed to provide up to $1.5 million of equity and debt to WWBIC for a period of 5 years. In 2016, WWBIC lending in Milwaukee totaled nearly $3 million to 67% minority and 48% women-owned central city.
In 2017, MUSIC launched $1 million M7 Venture Capital Evergreen Fund in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to help spur entrepreneurship. Four early stage companies have been selected for financing with more to be considered this year for the initial rounds.
Board of directors
MUSIC provided $1.35 million in financing to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to purchase an adjoining property. This parcel is now a key piece of the new arena development plans. Based on the recent purchase price of the only remaining parcel on the block, this acquisition saved the Bucks and taxpayers approximately $9 million.
In 2015, MUSIC funded two stations in Milwaukee’s Bublr Bike share program, which now has 75 stations with 27 more planned. With 30% of riders use Bublr to get to and from work, it now offers a pass integrated with the Milwaukee County Transit System. Bublr also started a program with the City’s Housing Authority to encourage use by residents in disadvantaged neighborhoods.