A new economic tool will soon be added to the City of Milwaukee’s development tool belt, following successful Common Council passage today of the ‘Main Street Milwaukee’ program.
Mayor Tom Barrett made Main Street Milwaukee a priority in the city’s efforts to redevelop neighborhood commercial districts.
“We know that some commercial main streets need a jump start and with the Common Council’s approval today, we’re ready with the jumper cables,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “I believe the Main Street Milwaukee program will harness investment and energy in ways that will boost our local neighborhood shopping districts.”
Main Street Milwaukee is a collaborative effort to revitalize Milwaukee’s older, traditional neighborhood commercial districts. Milwaukee has taken a proven national model and crafted a unique program that will help build sustainable, walkable, thriving commercial districts as anchors to our city’s residential neighborhoods.
The Department of City Development (DCD) will partner with the Milwaukee Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to provide a comprehensive range of support services. The program concentrates financial and technical assistance, offering expert guidance in architectural design, marketing, district planning, urban planning and small business development.
Under the program, $350,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds will be matched with private resources contributed by LISC, State Farm Insurance, Bank One, the Helen Bader Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, Potawatomi Community Foundation and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Up to four neighborhoods within federal block grant boundaries would be eligible to receive Main Street Milwaukee designation. Interested commercial districts must partner with a local 501c(3) applicant and attend a workshop prior to submitting an application.
Mayor Barrett is expected to outline further details of the program at a bill-signing event in the next week.