Wisconsin is located along the Great Lakes region in the United States. Known for its cheese and its beer, this state is a leader in manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. The state of Wisconsin has a population of 5,556,506 spread out across over 54,310 square miles. There are approximately 100 people living in each of those square miles. The population has been slowly but steadily rising over the past two decades. Between 1990 and 2000 the population rose 9.6%, and since 2000 the population has risen another 3.6%. The per capita income of the residents of Wisconsin is $33,278.

What does this mean for those who are interested in commercial real estate in Wisconsin?

The agricultural commercial real estate in Wisconsin is highly productive. Forty-five percent of the state's land is dedicated to farmland, and the state is the number one cheese producer in the country. It also tops the nation in corn, cranberries, and ginseng, and it is one of the major producers of oats, potatoes, carrots, and maple syrup. Commercial real estate is available for purchase for agricultural pursuits in Wisconsin.


Despite its profitability and success, agriculture is not the top industry in Wisconsin. That title goes to the manufacturing industry. The state is a leading region in food processing, processing much of the food that is grown locally. It also is a top machinery manufacturer and is number one in the country in the production of paper products. Even though Wisconsin's chief industry is manufacturing, it is in decline in this state, as it is across the country. Many industrial pads are being to put other uses, primarily mixed use retail and housing uses. This is especially the case in Milwaukee, which is trying to revitalize its urban core. There is high demand for housing in downtown Milwaukee, so condo development is booming.

The city of Madison has had steady economic growth since the early 1990's. Forbes magazine consistently names it one of the "Best Places for Business and Careers" each year. Commercial real estate continues to be affordable in this economically strong city.

Wisconsin's housing market has been hit very hard by the market slowdown. In Milwaukee, foreclosures are higher than normal but its unclear why. Unlike other states with high foreclosure rates, Wisconsin didn't experience a speculative boom or a drop in job creation. Even though experts haven't figured out the causes of Wisconsin's housing woes, they predict a rocky market for at least another 12 months.