Mari’s Flowers: Making the Move from Brady Street, and Investing Downtown

One building, one successful small business at a time. That is how we’re going to turn around Milwaukee Avenue, and downtown South Milwaukee.

And it’s happening.

The latest example is Mari’s Flowers, which is moving from Brady Street to 905 Milwaukee Ave. and opening in the next couple of months.

You may know owner Mari Cucunato. She started CZ Flowers in downtown South Milwaukee almost two decades ago, adjacent to Cafe Zarletti, the restaurant she and her former husband co-owned. Both the flower shop and restaurant moved away in the early 2000s — and now Mari is coming back home.

“I am very excited about returning and investing in such a honest, charming, quaint Main Street,” Mari tells me.

Mari is investing significantly in her return. She bought the building at 905 and vacant property to its east — it is one parcel — and has already begun extensive remodeling work the city is supporting with a $30,000 Downtown Revitalization Grant.

The city council approved the grant earlier this month.

Among the upgrades she’ll be making are an entirely new facade, new windows and roof, and extensive interior renovations, including installation of an ADA-compliant bathroom, new flooring  and updated plumbing and electrical.

Mari tells me she will have “the same fun, artistic atmosphere she has on Brady,” selling flowers, gifts, wine and champagne, with occasional wine tastings. She’ll also offer floral design classes.

Look for more details soon, and please join me in welcoming Mari back to town!

3 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

3 responses to “Mari’s Flowers: Making the Move from Brady Street, and Investing Downtown

  1. Rocandroo

    Great to hear about the latest investment in the downtown area, but what actions are going to be taken against those owners of the dilapidated buildings in the area? And are any building projects starting this summer?

    • We are working all the time to address problem properties and property owners, through our code enforcement officer and other means, eventually through municipal court. We have open orders on a number of buildings, downtown and otherwise. Are there any in particular you are wondering about?

      As for other developments, there is a lot of good news here. Monday’s Plan Commission agenda has items on two projects — a self-storage business on Columbia Avenue and a medical office building on College. Talks continue on the Vetter Denk downtown development — I remain confident– and there are several other Milwaukee Avenue buildings about to get new owners who want to invest in them. We continue to play a strong role in deterring what comes next for the Caterpillar site. More details on all of this soon.

  2. Melanie Poser

    As Martha would say, “It’s a good thing.”

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