More wins than losses: That’s what we are trying to drive when it comes the redevelopment of South Milwaukee.
And we’re seeing that, especially downtown.
Let’s take a quick tour, west to east, with more details to come on all of these in coming days, weeks and months …
- 1234 Milwaukee Ave. Please join me in welcoming our newest downtown business, Neutral Ground Martial Arts & Fitness! This is the third Milwaukee-area location for this martial arts studio, which also has locations in Bay View and on the East Side. From their website: “Open since 2005, we believe in a ‘safety first’ approach to the martial arts, in a laid back and playful environment that nurtures learning and camaraderie. We look after each other, building up the newbie from their first day onward. With our eclectic mix of instructors and training partners, we’re proud to share our mats with all walks of life, and our diversity contributes greatly to our individual and group mastery of the arts.” Their focus is on Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s a great get for South Milwaukee, as Jon Friedland brings his well-established business with a regional draw into our city center. Plan on attending their opening on Saturday, Jan. 5. Here is their Facebook page.
- Jogging south down 12th Avenue, there is David’s 4-Speeds. This a really cool muscle car transmission business that is moving from Milwaukee to a renovated space that is part of the former Line Material property, 2205 12th Ave. They are working toward their occupancy now.
- Back on Milwaukee Avenue, here’s a quick shoutout to the runaway success that is Milwaukee Sausage Co., 1200 Milwaukee Ave. They recently were named the official hot dog and sausage partner of the Milwaukee Milkmen, the new professional baseball team headed to Routine Field in Franklin. More details here.
- Continuing past the soon-to-be-new-home for Da Crusher statue, Black Sheep Tattoo will replace Revolution Hair Studio, 1017 Milwaukee Ave. The city council approved their conditional use permit on Tuesday after initially denying due to a previously suggested name. I look forward to officially welcoming the Zollers to this terrific space.
- Turning south on 10th Avenue, the former Grebe’s/Nona’s Cafe/Grillworks at 2206 10th Ave. is getting new life, as Annette Hall is working hard to open a Southern/Cajun restaurant in early 2019. I met her recently and left impressed with her plans for the space. I can taste the fried chicken, catfish, mac and cheese and greens already!
- At 10th and Marquette, the dilapidated gas station is now fully razed. It is addition by subtraction, as that property eventually goes up for sale and is redeveloped. This should be a valuable parcel on a high-traffic corner of our city, a gateway to downtown.
- Back on Main Street, Gecko Leatherworks continues its growth and is now getting a Milwaukee Avenue storefront! The leather shop will soon take half the space currently used by Serendipitous Designs & Gifts, 907 Milwaukee Ave., as Jamie right-sizes her business for future growth. A win-win, as we now get two local artist shops for the price of one.
- Down the block, new life is coming to the former clinic at 902 Milwaukee Ave., as Aurora Health Care is planning to bring more than 20 office employees to the space. Lots more to come on this exciting development that will surely boost downtown businesses.
All of this is happening as significant progress is made on the redevelopment of the former Bucyrus campus, with the new owners, Reich Brothers, continuing to advance their campus subdivision and master plans, and their lease buyout negotiations with Caterpillar. The latter is critical because, once complete, Reich will have true control of the campus.
And our streetscaping plans are progressing. The Public Works & Public Property Committee met several times in the fourth quarter to advance the plan toward a final design. Final council consideration is expected in February, with plans for an August start.
More wins than losses, over months and years — this is how we’ll get things done in downtown South Milwaukee. Let’s go!