What is the Gateway?

The Airport Gateway Business Improvement District (AGBID) and the Airport Gateway Business Association (AGBA) position themselves together as The Gateway to Milwaukee – a business led effort focused on bringing together a wide variety of area stakeholders, all with a mission of promoting airport area industry, local businesses, real estate development, improved infrastructure & community amenities, and the tremendous opportunity for economic development this region represents.

Vision / Goals

Mission: We will take a leadership role in planning, promoting and developing the vitality of The Gateway to Milwaukee.

The Gateway to Milwaukee works tirelessly to raise the value of the Mitchell Airport business district. To guide our vision, the organization has established the following goals:


In 2005, ten local airport area business and commercial property owners came together with support of the 13th Aldermanic District to form the nonprofit known as the Airport Gateway Business Association, or “AGBA”, with a goals of business support & advocacy, as well as revitalization of the commercial corridors surrounding Mitchel International Airport right here on Milwaukee’s far southside.

Spurred by the leadership, creativity and commitment of key business and commercial property owners in the airport area, the City of Milwaukee approved the creation of the nonprofit Airport Gateway Business Improvement District #40, or “AGBID”, in 2006.

The Gateway to Milwaukee

A Look Through the Years


April 2006

AGBA votes to move forward with the BID process.

October 2006

The Airport Gateway Business Improvement District (AGBID) receives official BID approval from the City of Milwaukee Common Council.



September 2007

AGBA begins a security patrol to support safety and security in the BID, especially near the hotel clusters.

October 2007

The Gateway to Milwaukee brand is launched.



May 2008

The Gateway begins beautification efforts on W. Layton Ave.

June 2008

gatewaytomilwaukee.com is launched as a resource for local business leaders.

August 2008

The Gateway hosts our First Annual Golf Outing.



July 2009

The First Annual Gateway Days is held in Holler Park.

October 2009

The Board of Directors approves a $15,000 donation to the Airport Area Economic Development Task Force to help develop an Aerotropolis in the Gateway.

November 2009

Milwaukee Gateway Aerotropolis Corporation (MGAC) is formed.



February 2010

The Gateway develops a Discount Card to encourage consumers to shop at businesses in the BID.

October 2010

The first-ever MGAC board meeting is held.



June 2011

The City of Milwaukee designates S. 6th St. as the Green Corridor. It will serve as a “living laboratory” to demonstrate innovations in sustainability and green technology.

October 2011

The blue arches – which represent water and forward movement – are installed on Layton Ave.

October 2011

The first bioswales in the BID are installed along S. 6th St.



March 2012

The Green Corridor effort receives a donation for 6 internally-lit crosswalk signs and 11 LED-lit street signs from TAPCO to be installed along S. 6th St.



June 2013

MGAC changes its name to Aerotropolis Milwaukee.

July 2013

The Gateway moves to our current location at 4121 S. 6th St., in the Green Corridor.

October 2013

The Gateway, VISIT Milwaukee, and the South Suburban Chamber of Commerce receive a Wisconsin Department of Tourism JEM (Joint Effort Marketing) Grant to conduct travel research.



January 2014

The Gateway security grant program begins; five $1,000 grants are distributed to business owners.

November 2014

The Gateway earns a Year 2 JEM grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to fund a travel campaign.

December 2014

The Urban Orchard on S. 6th St. is completed. It’s home to 80 fruit trees, as well as other plants and vegetation.



May 2015

The Green Corridor is recognized with a Mayor’s Design Award.

June 2015

WinWin Milwaukee is launched; it intends to encourage consumers to stay at February 2010 Gateway-area hotels.

July 2015

The Gateway, WisDOT, and Gen. Mitchell Int’l Airport form a partnership to create and maintain landscaping and planting beds along the Airport Spur.



March 2016

BID contracted crime analysis reports a 25% drop in overall crime in the Gateway BID since 2005, with a 40% drop since the implementation of the Gateway mobile patrol unit in 2008.

August 2016

Inaugural Taste of the Gateway outdoor event welcomed nearly 1,000 guests to sample from 12+ locally owned area restaurants.

September 2016

First phase of Gateway branded trash receptacles installed throughout the district resulting in 23,000 gallons of trash kept off the streets.



February 2017

Aerotropolis Development Plan completed in partnership with Southeastern WI Regional Planning Commission and the 8 communities surrounding Mitchell Int’l Airport.

April 2017

Gateway Beautification Committee completes its S. Howell Ave. Landscape Master Plan for incorporation into future road reconstruction.

March 2017

PBS show “Around The Corner” attracts over 300 people to Gateway sponsored premier party. Episode showcased the Garden District neighborhood & popular Gateway to Milwaukee businesses.



October 2018

Distributed over 100 wireless security cameras to area businesses and residents through the RING Camera Partnership program, in collaboration with MPD Dist. 6 and S. 27th Street BID.

December 2018

Total road reconstruction of S. Howell Ave. (Layton to Grange) completed. Gateway partners with City and State to leverage over $350k in additional streetscape improvements, landscaping upgrades, new LED street lighting and more.



May 2019

Aerotropolis enlists UWM Urban Planning Graduate Student Group to produce a feasibility study for the commercial redevelopment of the former 440th Airlift Wing.

November 2019

Large scale holiday LED snowflake decor installed along median of S. Howell Ave.

December 2019

High impact paving of W. Layton Ave. (S. Howell to S. 27th St.) adds new asphalt and center medians.



Winter 2020

Upgraded LED street lighting installed on newly refinished W. Layton Ave. (S. Howell to S. 27th St.)

Spring 2020

Final streetscape improvements and upgraded landscaping completed along W. Layton Ave. (S. Howell to S. 27th St.)

Summer 2020

Gateway and surrounding businesses prepare to welcome thousands of national and international visitors to the City for the DNC.