Future Cities

Emerging Industrial Markets: Milwaukee

February 29, 2024 5 Minute Read


Vogue says Milwaukee is ‘the Midwest’s coolest and most underrated city’ and its industrial real estate market is following suit. Proximity to the Great Lakes affords Milwaukee a tremendous manufacturing base, and nearby Chicago has engendered a rapidly growing warehouse base. Additionally, its electrical power and freshwater infrastructure have drawn high tech manufacturing and food occupiers.

Scott FurmanskiCBRE Senior Vice President


Approximately 2.6 million people—23% aged 18 to 34—live within 50 miles of Milwaukee. There are 32.5 million residents within 250 miles, a larger concentration than major industrial markets such as Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX, Inland Empire, CA, Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN.

Figure 1: Milwaukee Population Analysis

Source: CBRE Location Intelligence, 2024.

Milwaukee’s warehouse labor force of 32,794 and is expected to stay flat over the next decade, according to CBRE Labor Analytics. The average salary for a non-supervisory warehouse worker is $18.26 per hour, with a range of $16.97 to $20.04. This is 2.7% above the national average warehouse wage of $17.78.

Figure 2: Milwaukee Warehouse & Storage Labor Fundamentals

Source: CBRE Labor Analytics, 2024.

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