State provides funds for Innovations & Wellness Commons

Special to The Freeman

Jan. 22, 2015

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation awarded a $413,750 grant to the city of Milwaukee to help finance a redevelopment project called Innovations & Wellness Commons, which is being coordinated by the Walnut Way Conservation Group.

The grant was announced Thursday at a groundbreaking attended by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett at the future home of the Commons on West North Avenue in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood.

According to the announcement, the Innovations & Wellness Commons is a two-phased redevelopment that will serve as a hub for economic development, healthy food options, wellness services and training programs for Lindsay Heights and surrounding neighborhoods.

“The Innovations & Wellness Commons will not only be a valuable resource for area residents by providing them with healthy food options, but it also has the potential to be a real catalyst for future economic development in the neighborhood,” Kleefisch said in a statement. “This project also is another key component of our administration’s Transform Milwaukee Initiative, which has already produced $275 million in state investments in the heart of Milwaukee.”

The first phase of the $2.2 million project will include a commercial kitchen and small retail store operated by Outpost Natural Foods, a retail operation featuring vegetarian dishes operated by The Juice Kitchen and a 4,500-square-foot commercial kitchen operated by the Milwaukee Center for Independence that will produce meals for clients and will provide training in food service, according to the announcement.

The second phase of the project calls for construction of a new 9,000-square-foot building on an adjacent lot that will house tenants who will provide complementary health and wellness services.