village of Shorewood is reinventing its business district with a
series of mixed-use developments. The landlocked community that
encompasses one square mile on Milwaukee’s North Shore began buying
parcels and razing buildings along Oakland Avenue in 2005 in hopes of
attracting new retail projects and residents.
commercial district needed to be rebuilt with an urban sensibility,
which means mixed-use buildings," says Jim Plaisted, executive
director of the Shorewood Business Improvement District.
seems the village’s ambitious plan is paying off. Recent mixed-use
developments like the Cornerstone and the Ravenna at the north end of
Shorewood have attracted new businesses and increased foot traffic.
The success of those projects is also spurring new growth on the south
end of the village.
development projects on Shorewood’s north end have dramatically
transformed the village," says Plaisted. "They’re changing
how people who live here are engaging in their community."
completion in 2010, the Cornerstone, a four-story, mixed-used building
developed by WiRED Properties, quickly attracted business and
residents. In less than six months, all 25 apartments and 11,000
square feet of retail space had been leased.
Last fall, WiRED
Properties completed another four-story, mixed-use development across
the street from the Cornerstone. The Ravenna has 20 apartments and
8,100 square feet of retail space, which is 100 percent leased.
the shops and restaurants to transform Shorewood’s north end into a
thriving retail center are:
• Alterra (500
N. Oakland Ave.) opened in December 2010. Located in the Cornerstone
building, the Shorewood location is the Milwaukee-based coffee roaster’s
10th cafe. It features free Wi-Fi and a full café food menu.
• Thief Wine
Shop and Bar (4512 N. Oakland Ave.) is a more contemporary, relaxed
version of its bustling Milwaukee Public Market locale. The fine wine
shop and bar carries more than 600 artisanal wines from classic and
emerging regions all over the world.
• Catering to
women of all ages, Boutique B’lou (4508 N. Oakland Ave.) carries
professional attire, sportswear and fashions for special occasions.
• After 10
years in Whitefish Bay, Elements East moved to the recently completed
Ravenna building (4529 N. Oakland Ave.). Specializing in art,
furniture and other accessories from Asia, the eclectic shop opened
over Thanksgiving weekend.
Chocolatiers (4525 N. Oakland Ave.) opened its chocolate boutique here
in November. With locally handcrafted chocolates in unique flavor
combinations, monthly tasting and pairing classes, and a knowledgeable
staff, the store is a destination for chocolate enthusiasts all over
Running Outfitters (4533 N. Oakland Ave.) doubled in size when it
moved from its former Shorewood location in late 2012. The larger
space features an 80-foot indoor synthetic track and expanded
inventory, including children’s shoes.
• North Star
American Bistro (4518 N. Oakland Ave.) moved to its new location in
October 2010. The popular upscale eatery focuses on classic American
comfort foods with a twist.
• Three Lions
Pub (4515 N. Oakland Ave.) opened in February 2011. The British-style
tavern sets an authentic scene with Victorianesque lighting, a roaring
fireplace and traditional English dishes like bangers and mash and
• NaNa Asian
Fusion (4511 N. Oakland Ave.) opened in November 2011. The
budget-friendly sushi restaurant and bar features an Asian menu with
Japanese and Thailand influences.
• Yo Mama!
(4521 N. Oakland Ave.) will open in March, with 10 flavors of frozen
yogurt and a broad selection of toppings.