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Mayor's Design Awards

The Mayor’s Design Awards are presented in an ongoing effort to recognize design excellence throughout the City of Milwaukee. Recipients have added value to their neighborhoods by restoring, constructing or enhancing their properties in a way that respects the urban fabric and contributes to the character of their surroundings. 

View previous award winners by year

 

 

2023 Mayor's Design Award Winners

 
The 26th Annual Mayor's Design Awards were announced on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 at the UWM School of Architecture & Urban Planning, Marcus Commons.

 

Places and Spaces

The following projects have found unique opportunities to contribute to the character of their neighborhoods and have made our streets and public spaces more attractive and inviting by engaging the public, enhancing public infrastructure, and creating meaningful community spaces for all to enjoy.


Cohort 4 Green and Healthy Schools

 

Various Addresses

 

For several years, a group of community organizations have been working to transform asphalt school yards into sustainable community green spaces. This work has taken place in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee at five MPS school yards, including Benjamin Franklin School, Hayes Bilingual, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Neeskara, and Zablocki. 

 

3818 N 8th St and 1755 S 32nd St

Green Bay Playfield and Burnham Playfield

MKE REC worked to revitalize two community play spaces that now feature new basketball and tennis courts, splash pads, upgraded playground equipment, an outdoor classroom, and a new kickball and football field. This new outdoor asset in the 6th Aldermanic District will benefit families and kids for years to come. 


MSOE's University Terrace

 

Between Viets Tower and Diercks Hall

Milwaukee is home to many world-class universities and institutions of higher education. MSOE is no exception, and their investments in our city are creating prosperity and bright futures for our residents, families, and businesses. This project transformed a surface parking lot into a vibrant green space with landscaping, walking paths, and areas to relax.

 

900 E Layton Ave

Packing House's Restaurant Patio

If you don’t know, the Packing House is a staple restaurant on Milwaukee’s south side. Folks flock to their Friday Fish Fry every week. Now, these restaurant goers will have the option to dine at the  Packing Housing’s new brick patio with a six-foot long fireplace, a waterfall feature, a retractable roof, and heaters. The new patio was built on a portion of an existing surface parking lot, demonstrating the power of utilizing these spaces to create new gathering places and outdoor spaces.


Neighborhood Markers Project

 

Seven Near West Side Neighborhoods

The Near West Side Partners deployed federal funding to create seven sculptures throughout seven Near West Side neighborhoods: Avenues West, Cold Spring Park, Historic Concordia, Martin Drive, Merrill Park, Miller Valley, and Piggsville. The sculptures, created by artists Brandon Minga and Andre Saint-Louis, detail the stories of Milwaukee’s indigenous history, culture, and architecture that remains in the neighborhood. Thank you to Near West Side Partners for their ongoing commitment to building a stronger Milwaukee.

4101 N 31st St

Green Tech Station

This location was once a vacant brownfield that needed significant investment and attention. The City of Milwaukee acquired this site and began environmental cleanup in 2016. Northwest Side  CDC and various community partners got involved to raise funds and reimagine the space into a green infrastructure destination in Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor. It is able to capture over 100,000 gallons of stormwater every time it rains, and it features an outdoor classroom, green infrastructure amenities, and a unique mosaic created with 12,000 repurposed plastic bottle caps. 

 


Vibrant Corridors

These projects are revitalizing the City’s commercial corridors by constructing or restoring their properties in a pedestrian friendly way that activates the public realm, adds new housing or employment opportunities, and adds to the vibrancy and diversity of our commercial districts.

 


Sherman Park Grocery

 

4315 W Fond du Lac Ave
 

This new hub for fresh, nutritious foods opened last year after Sherman Park residents voiced their desire for a community grocery store. The second level of Sherman Park Grocery Store is a hydroponics farm, which supplies a portion of the grocery’s produce. This new community asset is also a wonderful example of how the City of Milwaukee supports new small businesses with Fresh Food Access Funds and Commercial Revitalization Grant Funding. 

 

141-151 & 153 S 1st St

141-151 & 153 South 1st Street

A row of renovated Walker’s Point buildings that are all well more than a century old represent our next honoree. LAS Investments are repurposing the properties at 145-151 & 153 South 1st Street to have first-floor commercial space with housing above. The buildings’ facades have also undergone vast improvements. We’re looking forward to witnessing the untapped potential of these newly revitalized properties in Walker’s Point.

 


Cream City Lofts

170 S 2nd St

Milwaukee’s history enthusiasts will recognize this building as the former John Nazro & Company hardware warehouse built in the 1850s. After a significant renovation and restoration effort led by Joseph Property Development, the building is now Cream City Lofts, a 40-unit apartment development featuring a rooftop deck and commercial space on the first floor. They also completed a façade restoration during the revitalization effort. 

400 W Canal St

Harley-Davidson - The Garage

This new addition to the existing museum campus is a year-round event space with indoor and outdoor seating, as well as amazing views of the nearby Menomonee River. We know how iconic the Harley-Davidson name is in Milwaukee, so we’re proud to honor them and their continued investment in our city.


Hue Vietnamese Restaurant

 

2699 S Kinnickinnic Ave

This longstanding Bay View restaurant owed by Cat Tran and Mark Nielsen recently relocated down the block, expanding a small one-story café building into a mixed-use building that fills out the corner with a new lounge and patio and includes three apartments on the second floor. The City of Milwaukee was proud to support Hue’s renovations with Commercial Revitalization Grant Funding.

 

1697 N Marshall St  

Brady and Marshall

 

This mixed-used building, led by Three Leaf Development, was built on a City-owned vacant lot. This development includes a first-floor commercial space and a second-floor apartment unit. Thank you to Three Leaf Development for helping create a more cohesive and continuous built environment along Brady Street.


North Avenue Market

 

5900 W North Ave

What was once a former bank building is now a community food and retail hall that has become a central place for the community located on the border of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa. They offer a coffee shop, bar, food vendors, conference rooms, co-working office, pop-up space, a stage, speakeasy, drive-thru, and much more. Funds from DCD’s Commercial Revitalization Grant Program played a key role in North Avenue Market’s building renovations and improvements.

2522 W Capitol Dr

Shechem

 

This new community center in the Garden Homes neighborhood was part of a City land sale and provides a space for job skills training, professional development, and youth recreation. Shechem, operated by Hope Street Ministry, offers the neighborhood a gym, classrooms, café, rooftop garden, and courtyard. We’re looking forward to the positive impact you will have on the neighborhood and the entire City of Milwaukee.


Urban Renaissance

These projects have added value to the city by providing new or improved options for neighborhood housing, or by adding or improving office, manufacturing, or other amenities that add jobs, strengthen neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life for residents.


Westlawn Renaissance IV and VI

6236 W Birch Ave

The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee has been working for years to build up Westlawn Gardens to provide supportive housing and services for residents in need. One of the latest additions is Westlawn Renaissance IV, which added two mid-rise buildings that include 60 housing units. Of those 60 units, 30 are reserved for youth aging out of foster care. Westlawn Renaissance VI added 138 units of affordable housing in a wide variety of housing styles and color themes.

1908 W Meinecke Ave

The Wheatley

Royal Capital converted this former MPS school into a residential building, offering 42 affordable-rate apartment units in the renovated Phillis Wheatley School, as well as 40 apartments in the new building that was built along Meinecke Avenue. The City of Milwaukee provided tax incremental financing to support this development, and WHEDA allocated low income tax credits. Both helped make this affordable housing development a reality that will serve residents and families for years to come.


R1ver & Tribute Apartments

210 W Becher St

This new development by Michels Corporation is generating new economic activity in the Harbor District and promoting public access on the Kinnickinnic River with this transformative investment. R1ver features office space, retail space, and a 125-room hotel. The Tribute Apartments include 95 apartment units, as well as a connected restaurant, The Bridgewater. Of note, R1ver is home to the Harbor District’s first publicly-accessible Riverwalk extension.

195 S Rite-Hite Way

Rite-Hite Headquarters

The headquarters has two office buildings with a reflective glass edifice and a parking structure with a connected skywalk. This development is an excellent addition to Reed Street Yards, which has witnessed a tremendous renaissance that local leaders have been advancing for many years. We’re looking forward to Rite-Hite and their employees, customers, and partners adding value to our city moving forward.


Komatsu Harbor District Campus

401 E Greenfield Ave

Located at the eastern end of Greenfield Avenue overlooking Milwaukee’s inner harbor, the 59-acre complex includes a 430,000-square-foot factory and 176,000-square-foot office building. The development features wind spires atop the parking garage and a solar array on the factory’s roof. The campus occupies a site that used to house Solvay Coke & Gas. A mix of city and state tax incentives helped make the Komatsu Mining Campus in the Harbor District a reality, which will eventually exceed 1,000 employees at the facility.

700 E Kilbourn Ave

Ascent

 

The Ascent is a 259-unit luxury mass-timber apartment building that includes retail space, an elevated pool, and a sky-deck. New Land Enterprises sourced sustainably-forested renewable mass timber to construct this development, which is currently the tallest mass timber structure in the world. What an inspiring project that is making Milwaukee a national leader in innovative construction practices.

 

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