Thanks to a contract with the United States Navy, areas in northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula in Michigan are set to experience “the biggest growth period since World War II,” report city officials throughout the region. And the demand will likely be for new construction, since there is predicted to be a great deal of interest in “upscale housing, if you will, white-collar housing,” explains Mike Kunesh, a local realtor. In fact, most of the rentals in the area are already filled up as workers and their families move to the area, and “what’s left is marginal at best,” says Kunesh.
The contract, which is going to create about 5,000 jobs through Marinette Marine, will not just create a new employment opportunity, but also create new demands for business and other services. However, the real issue for now is that there is simply not a lot of housing to go around, and some real estate agents report selling properties as far away as Green Bay to workers planning to commute. The caliber of housing that these workers want is simply not available in the area, and it will be interesting to see whether developers move in to fill the void and help these people move closer to where they work, or whether this contract could at least temporarily revitalize the housing market in a much wider area than might otherwise be expected in light of the location of the contract.