Harbor District gaining momentum
The City-led Harbor District initiative is gaining momentum with the recent announcement of a $200,000 planning grant to the Redevelopment Authority from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The grant will allow the City to plan for the assessment, cleanup and reuse of several brownfield properties in the Harbor District, which is loosely defined as south of the Third Ward (and Summerfest), north of Bay/Becher Streets, west to 2nd Street and east to the Lake, including Jones Island. The Harbor District initiative was originally identified in the City’s ReFresh Milwaukee Plan and was formally kicked off at Mayor Barrett’s State of the City address in 2014. Since that time, the department has been working to secure funding sources for a Water and Land Use Plan. In addition to the USEPA grant, the Redevelopment Authority has secured $50,000 from the State of Wisconsin’s Coastal Management Grant program and $40,000 (through Milwaukee County) from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. With the grant funds and the City’s $50,000 contribution from the Advance Planning Fund, a significant planning effort is about to kick off later this Spring. Concurrently, a public-private partnership is being created with the establishment of a new non-profit called the Harbor District, Inc. (HDI) that will be charged with carrying out the vision and mission of the initiative.