It’s been a good run recently for Grant Park Plaza. And that’s good for South Milwaukee.
With the recent opening of Planet Fitness and the soon-to-be open CSL Plasma location, the shopping center will be close to 90% occupied — pretty good when you look at the state of other suburban strip malls.
There was more good news Tuesday night, as the Community Development Authority and City Council approved an ownership change for most of the center, a restructuring that will see a new equity partner come on board and allow for a refinancing of existing debt.
The new equity partner is Great Lakes Capital, an investment firm based in South Bend, Ind., and the new owners of the shopping center — all buildings, including the outlots, minus the Pick ‘n Save — will officially be 2901 South Chicago LLC.
This move will further strengthen and stabilize the ownership of the center, freeing up cash that the owners have pledged to use to resurface/reseal the parking lot, fix winter damage to the lot and improve landscaping in 2015.
These enhancements are in addition to almost $900,000 in improvements the center has seen in the past year, including $750,000 for buildout of the Planet Fitness space. Another $120,000 is being invested in the CSL Plasma buildout. It will open in April.
There is still a 11,800 square-foot vacancy in the main portion of the center — formerly occupied by Wisconsin Health and Fitness — and a space next to Advance Auto Parts in that outlot. But that’s it. And that’s a good thing.
I hope you can join me for my next Meet the Mayor session this Saturday at MKE City Sippers, 911 Milwaukee Ave. downtown.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Special guest State Sen. Chris Larson will be joining me, so feel free to talk local or state issues (including the state budget). Or just stop in to say hi.
See you there, and bring a friend or two!
And here are my next two sessions …
- Saturday, March 21: Ace Hardware
- Saturday, April 18: I Can’t Resist Kids’ Resale/B’s Boutique, with special guest Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik
Fat Tuesday is tomorrow … why not celebrate with some local paczkis?
Wild Flour Bakery is baking these Polish treats at its South Milwaukee location, 1205 Milwaukee Ave. Paczkis are priced at 79 cents each, $4.50 half dozen, and $8.99 per dozen.
And they are available in raspberry, bavarian cream, lemon, and prune.
Stop by and buy one or a dozen!
The South Shore Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation to bring small local business owners up to speed on social media.
Check out the flyer for more on the three-part educational series.
All sessions will be held at the Cudahy Family Library and will be held from 5 to 6 p.m.
- Session 1: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – Introduction to social media for small business
- Session 2: Thursday, June 25, 2015 – Facebook 101 for small business
- Session 3: Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Twitter 101 for small business
I continue to be impressed with the Chamber and WWBIC for their commitment to investing in the success of local business. These classes are an example of that.
You may have heard about the break-in overnight Sunday at Nona’s Café downtown.
Well, it’s not slowing Tom and Ida down. They’re open for business … as I learned first-hand Tuesday in trying their terrific meatloaf for lunch.
Stop in and show your support for this local business!
Might I suggest the elephant ears …
With five-foot snowbanks separating parked cars from our local merchants, I know it’s hard to navigate downtown South Milwaukee these days. The city is going to help.
You may have noticed “no parking” signs go up in the 900 and 1000 blocks of Milwaukee Avenue on Friday. That is because city crews are planning to clean up the parking lanes up to the curb and remove some of the snow between the sidewalk and curb on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Then, time and manpower permitting, we will continue into the 800, 1100 and 1200 blocks of Milwaukee and finally to the two blocks of 10th Avenue south of Milwaukee.
We are doing this to make access to downtown businesses safer and easier. We ask for your patience during this process.
For now, keep this in mind …
- Between 7 a.m. 3 p.m. on Monday, there is no parking on the north side of Milwaukee Avenue between Ninth and 11th Avenues.
- Between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday, there is no parking on the south side of those blocks.
Please patronize our local businesses all year long!
I’m really excited about the latest business to call downtown South Milwaukee home — another good example of a destination retail store that I’m hoping we become famous for.
It’s JB’s Tee Shirt Factory, which provides screen-printed, embroidered and other apparel for sports teams — including colleges like UW-Milwaukee, UW-Parkside, and Cardinal Stritch — and other groups. It also has some cool designer t-shirts they will be selling at the South Milwaukee location, 1233 Milwaukee Ave., their first retail store.
They also have an operation in Muskego.
I met Jason and Aaron on Thursday night, and they are making some significant upgrades to the store. They hope to open next week.
Please join me in welcoming them to South Milwaukee … and shop local!