Plan Commission Backs New Development, Expansions, Renovations

vetter-denk-rendering

Businesses are investing in South Milwaukee and its future. Monday night’s Plan Commission meeting showed it.

Among the unanimous action taken by the commission …

First, we recommended approval to the city council a 120-day planning option with Vetter Denk for the $6.6 million microbrewery, retail, apartment, and public space development they have planned for 11th and Madison Avenues.

If the planning option is approved by the full council, then detail work will start on the development, from design to financials, with a shovel in the ground planned for next spring.

This project will be a real game-changer for downtown South Milwaukee — and approval of this planning option gives the developers the certainty they need to do the necessary due diligence to make the project a reality.

We also paved the way for several other successful existing business owners to invest in their properties …

  • The Plan Commission recommended approval of a 1,488 square-foot office addition to the front of A&J Environmental Pallet at 1210 Rawson Ave.
  • And we recommended approval of a 1,350 square-foot addition and construction a new 9,600 square-foot building at EK Construction at 1040 Columbia Ave. Eric is looking for additional storage.
  • Also, we granted an exception to our code to allow for installation of a replacement awning at Parkway Floral, 1001 Milwaukee Ave., as Leah and her team continue to make investments in their building and business.

Finally, the commission approved extension of a sale option for Greywolf Partners Inc. on the city-owned portion of the property at 11th and College Avenues. More to come on this potential retail development.

That’s just one meeting. We’re just getting started …

8 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

8 responses to “Plan Commission Backs New Development, Expansions, Renovations

  1. Rocandroo

    As wonderful as the microbrewery is, what is the plan for all the dilapidated buildings on Milwaukee Ave? This is the main downtown, and what the community is waiting on for investment and development. Who owns all these buildings? Why do they not maintain their properties? What are they doing to attract small businesses?

  2. Amy Raysor

    I think the new development is awesome. But I am with Rocandroo about what is being done about the downtown area storefronts that are empty? I think that there is so much potential there that it is a shame to just let them go. Maybe there needs to be some kind of incentive made to bring in new businesses to the downtown. Some unique stores, out of the ordinary type of shops. Take a look at Bayview. They have some really unique shops and seem to have a lot of visitors.

  3. Amy: I believe this development will help lift the entire downtown area, and raise the bar for existing business and property owners. That said, we are doing things now to help. The biggest step we’ve taken recently is the unveiling of our downtown revitalization grant program, a matching grant of up to $30,000 for a variety of interior and exterior renovations to downtown storefronts, targeted in the 900 and 1000 block of Milwaukee Avenue. Our first applicant is the owner of the building housing Jen’s Sweet Treats, as they look to double in size and renovate their building. We’re also making streetscape improvements in 2017. And we’re doing a deep dive into downtown organization structures and successful Main Street programs as we speak. Today, for instance, I and others met with downtown leaders in Fond du Lac. Last week, we were in Libertyville, Ill. Two weeks ago, Beloit. A couple more visits are upcoming. One thing that has become clear: This revitalization work takes time, more than a decade in many cases. It’s been 30 years in the making in Beloit and Libertyville. We are just getting started here, and I encourage patience, as hard asthat is (for me too).

    • Thanks for your quick response. I appreciate you letting me know this because I am fairly new to this area and didn’t know these things. So, thanks for outlining it. It sounds awesome and am happy to hear these things are taking place. I do understand it takes time, which is sometimes is hard to do. Looking forward to the new things that are happening.

    • Rocandroo

      1) How will the downtown have a cohesive look when and if the building owners take advantage of the downtown revitalization grant program funds? Is the city putting any restrictions or parameters on how these funds can be used to achieve the overall big picture?
      2) Why are the downtown leaders going to Fond du Lac, Beloit and Libertyville when we have so many great neighboring communities that have done the same thing? Oak Creek, Wauwatosa, Greendale, Bay View and Cedarburg all have great downtown areas that attract many restaurants, boutiques, cafes and book stores.

      • Happy to answer these questions.

        1. The plan includes quite a few guidelines and guardrails. You can read the entire document here. http://smwi.org/downtown-revitalization-grant/

        2. There are dozens of examples of successful downtown revitalization efforts within an hour or so of Milwaukee. In choosing the ones we did, we are trusting a respected expert in this field who says we have the most to learn from these communities. And I can’t argue with the results. All three communities so far have had success in rebuilding their downtowns — and all three have approached it quite differently. We are working with Business Districts Inc. and Diane Williams. She is first class; we’re lucky to have her.

  4. Do the developers already have a microbrewery lined up? Or are they building this with plans of luring one in? If they already have one lined up, do you happen to have the name?

    Thanks!

    • No name yet, but the developers have had strong interest in the space, and are working closely with one potential operator who would do a terrific job running the brewery. More to come in coming months.

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