Investing in Downtown, One Building at a Time

Two downtown South Milwaukee buildings will get facelifts with the help of the Bucyrus Downtown Revitalization Grant.

The grant review committee met last week and recommended $30,000 grants for 912 Milwaukee Ave. (James Moran/Moran’s Pub) and 1003 Milwaukee Ave., recently purchased by Kimberly Mackenzie and Troy Kinunen. The South Milwaukee Common Council approved the grant awards at its meeting on Tuesday, June 30.

The Moran’s project is a continuation of their significant interior remodel started a couple months ago. The goal of the exterior remodel is a look similar to Slainte Pub & Grub in Oakland, Calif.

Plans presented include a replacement of the first-floor facade, including windows, an entrance door and wall materials. New paint colors and signage are also included in the proposal.

One potential look for 1003 Milwaukee.

Mackenzie and Kinunen plan to restore the facade to its historic appearance, including tuckpointing, tile roof repair, new storefront windows and door, composite wall covering and trim. Interior improvements include replacement of the building’s electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems and finishes to the first-floor commercial space, for a future tenant.

I’m excited to see these continued improvements in our downtown.

For Moran, it’s the latest investment in the future for his now 25-year-old second-generation family business.

For Mackenzie and Kinunen, it’s not their first project in the city, and hopefully not their last. In addition to the amazing remodel of the former St. Mary’s Hall, they also purchased and remodeled the property at 723 Milwaukee Ave. to make way for the Military Connection collectibles store, which owner Craig Luther is now expanding even more — and are nearing completion on the renovation of a home two doors to the west, at Eighth and Milwaukee Ave. 

With these two projects, the Bucyrus grant program ends after supporting five projects with more than $100,000 in matching grants, including remodels to the 907 Milwaukee (now home to Gecko Leatherworks and Serendipitous Designs and Gifts), China Chef and Mari’s Flowers.

It was money well spent. You can see for yourself, recognizing this is just the latest example of the continued momentum in our city center.

The Business Journal wrote about progress with the former Bucyrus campus over the weekend. Here is a PDF of the article — and check out the new, full listing for the property.

  • The downtown streetscaping project is well underway, with South Milwaukee-based EK Construction continuing with phase 2 sidewalk improvements after July 4th.
  • Work on the Bucyrus Club is full speed ahead, with the building now vacant, cleaned out and ready for a complete remodel. The project team — including future tenants Skyline Catering and the South Milwaukee Industrial Museum, and Bucyrus Foundation President Tim Sullivan — and Zimmerman Architectural Studios are planning what’s next, with construction starting in coming months and an opening next summer.
  • Down the block, DB Tax & Wealth is expanding.
  • And further east on Milwaukee, an ad hoc committee is in place to begin the new-look public space on 11th and Madison with landscape architects Saiki Design and the community at large. Construction is expected to begin in 2021, backed by $500,000 from the Bucyrus Foundation.

Progress is real, and building. And we’re just getting started.

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