Downtown South Milwaukee Update: Openings, Projects and Progress

Taking a tour of our progress downtown …

  • New Look for Main Street. Work continues on the city’s investment in Milwaukee Avenue, and I already see a return on the streetscaping project; it has been cited by business owners who want to build on that investment with improvements to their own businesses. New sidewalk, lights and street trees are already in place or in progress, as work has shifted to west of the railroad tracks in recent weeks. Next up: Planters, bike racks and the addition of a bike lane. Details here.
  • Bucyrus Club. There continues to be significant progress made in this game-changing project, a public-private partnership between the City of South Milwaukee, Bucyrus Foundation, Skyline Catering and the South Milwaukee Industrial Museum. Demo is nearly complete, and construction is expected to begin this fall. The renderings of the finished product, produced by Zimmerman Architectural Studios, are amazing. Look for those soon, and learn more about the project in the latest Bridges magazine and here. The Bucyrus Club opens next summer.
  • Wealth of opportunity. It’s hard to miss, but demo is well underway at DB Tax & Wealth, 1125 Milwaukee Ave., with the two buildings to its east now razed to make way for a more than $1 million expansion of this second-generation downtown business. Details here, and you can get project updates on their Facebook page.
  • A community gathering place. The planning effort has begun for “what’s next” on the city-owned property at 11th and Madison. The ad hoc planning committee has been chosen, and is working with Saiki Design to develop a vision for this space, informed by the community at large and city staff. Look for more details soon on how you can be a part of the conversation, and offer your ideas and feedback. Funded by a $500,000 grant by the Bucyrus Foundation, buildout is expected to begin in 2021, as we deliver a project that generations will enjoy as they head downtown for the farmers’ market, special events or just to hang out on a random Wednesday. Much more to come on this.
  • Grand opening. I was proud to officially welcome Dupree’s to South Milwaukee last Saturday. The vintage store at 1310 Milwaukee Ave. — co-owned by Jo Aiko and Joe and Natalie Gajewski — is a spinoff of another successful downtown business Barberella, and just as cool. Saturday’s opening attracted shoppers from away as Chicago and Sheboygan, and is a perfect example of the small, independent, destination businesses we are trying to attract to our city center. Learn more on its Facebook page.
  • Sausage and meats. The former Milwaukee Sausage Co. building has a new local owner — with plans to make it into a sausage and meat market of his own. More to come.
  • New restaurant, with soul. In case you missed it, South Milwaukee has a new soul food restaurant: Pot Liquor, 925 Madison Ave., the former home to Lloyd’s Lunch. Details here.
  • Kane Building. The Plan Commission heard from a developer last week with a vision for purchasing the former rooming house at 10th and Monroe Avenues and convert it apartments. More to come here, too.
  • One owner, two investments. Troy Kinunen and Kimberly Mackenzie are delivering two more projects on Milwaukee Avenue. They are renovating the home at 8th and Milwaukee Ave., and then it’s on to 1003 Milwaukee Ave., which is being reborn thanks in part to a $30,000 Bucyrus Downtown Revitalization Grant.
  • New look for Moran’s. Moran’s Pub — which saw big interior renovations in the early days of the pandemic — is getting a facade facelift too, also powered by a Bucyrus grant. Details here.
  • A new second story. Military Connection is adding a second floor and making other improvements to its already renovated space at 723 Milwaukee Ave. Work is underway, and owner Craig Luther tells me it will be completed by spring — another example of a local business owner transforming a building in our city center.

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