There is momentum building downtown, and there has been for a while.
Want proof? Look at what’s happening on the 900 block of Milwaukee Avenue.
Let’s start with an exciting new business. The property at 903-905 Milwaukee Ave. – and the vacant lot next to it, west of Azteca Restaurant — has been sold to a business owner who is no stranger to South Milwaukee: Mari Cucunato.
Mari opened her first business, Mari’s Flowers, in South Milwaukee in 1995, and would move to 1220 E. Brady St. in 2003. She is moving back to South Milwaukee this spring.
I’ve met with her and left incredibly impressed with her passion and desire to help revitalize downtown. She sees great potential in South Milwaukee.
As she wrote me, “I hope to start a trend to encourage other businesses and start ups to follow their dreams.”
As for her specific plans for the property, stay tuned.
“I approach every business with a fresh and optimistic adventure,” Mari told me. I can’t wait to see.
Let’s head next door, to Jen’s Sweet Treats.
Their expansion and renovation – supported by a Downtown Revitalization Grant – is looking terrific, and nearing completion. Jennifer tells me they are hoping to reopen in the first week of January, with an expanded retail bakery and new community room. In the meantime, be sure to stop by their Cudahy location for holiday treats.
And down the block, we head to Styled Aesthetic.
The guys at the Rocket Shop (they also do screen printing and design work) are remodeling and refurbishing their show room to improve the shopping experience, and reorganizing and remodeling their office area for a more professional look. They’re also improving their work spaces and adding an break area. This is in addition to their expansion in 2015. They will have a grand-reopening and holiday party on January 16th, and are currently open for walk-in holiday orders now through their website or by calling ahead at 414-304-5733.
And there is more on the horizon in that block, and beyond …
There has been strong interest in the former Home State Bank building recently – I’ve personally met with and spoken several times with someone who has big plans for this historic gem downtown — and Aurora Healthcare is exploring building renovations and adding services to its clinic on the corner of 9th and Milwaukee.
Much more to come on both of those soon.
Indeed, we’re just getting started on Milwaukee Avenue!