Enabling a Sweet Downtown Expansion

jens-building

This was the stated goal of the Downtown Revitalization Grant we launched in May …

South Milwaukee’s Downtown Revitalization Grant program has been designed to improve downtown’s buildings and to support ongoing investment in South Milwaukee’s Downtown. Through these improvements, the City hopes to foster the growth of new downtown businesses and the expansion of downtown’s current businesses. This emphasis on business growth and expansion will enhance the downtown’s vitality, attracting new customers and their dollars to downtown’s businesses and additional investment in the downtown over time. Ultimately, South Milwaukee’s revitalized downtown can become the community’s central place for residents and provide a unique experience for visitors to the community.

We’re off to a terrific start.

The South Milwaukee City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to fund a $17,463 grant application by Steve Fenno, owner of the building that houses Jen’s Sweet Treats at 907 Milwaukee Ave. The 50% matching grant will support a $34,926 interior and renovation of the property and allow for the expansion of Jen’s into the entire first floor.

Plans include adding new windows and doors, rehabbing the brick facade to its original appearance, installing a new canopy, upgrading interior electrical and plumbing, refurbishing interior walls, and seamlessly connecting the two existing storefronts — to create both an expanded retail space and a new community room.

Jennifer Clark, owner of Jen’s, which first moved into the smaller space just this spring, plans to begin construction ASAP, with the renovated store reopening by December.

Thank you to Steve and Jennifer for their investment in downtown South Milwaukee, and their ongoing commitment to our city center.

This is exciting news for us — and I’m betting the first of more grant applications to come, as we use this program to demonstrate our commitment to breathing new life into our city center, one property, one business, at a time. We’re well on our way.

We couldn’t do it without our property owners stepping to help.

As Steve said in his grant application: “We see a concerted effort by city officials to genuinely attempt to upgrade our city center. It is our responsibility to join the effort.”

Here, here!

Know of someone who may be interested in the grant? Learn more here … and apply!

3 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

3 responses to “Enabling a Sweet Downtown Expansion

  1. Karl Lonngren

    Erik,

    I enjoyed learning more about the Mill Pond and I shared the URL with fellow classmates who graduated from high school in 1956. I was wondering where Oak Creek actually started. Are they still smelt fishing and ice-skating – things I remember.

    This is what I circulated to my classmates.

    /I recently came across a website that may be of interest to you – it is about the Mill Pond, its history and its present state of recovery from many years of neglect. I encourage you to look at the videos of our town in 1932. I wonder if our 6th grade teacher at Marquette grade school is in the video./

    //

    http://www.smfomp.org/

    Karl

  2. RocketMom

    Small changes can yield big results. Thank you Jennifer and your gang for being the first and inspiring other Downtown Business owners to apply for this grant. For the City – please consider simplifying the application process to speed things up for these small business owners.

  3. Al Douglas

    RocketMon, How long did it take and how long should it take?

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