Hypothetical Milwaukee Avenue development: Scenario 1

Below is one of the possible development scenarios that came out of the recent Milwaukee Avenue Corridor Development Initiative, and I’d like to know what you think of it (click on image for a slightly larger and clearer view).

For the purpose of discussion, assume this building replaces a vacant lot or an ugly, historically insignificant building (however you may define that).

Milw Ave scenario 1A marked upHypothetical Milwaukee Ave. Development:
Scenario 1

During the planning initiative we were tasked with creating developments that we would like to see on Milwaukee Avenue.  This one would fit on a corner of Milwaukee Avenue and a side street (as depicted Milwaukee Avenue is the street closest, on the right).  The building has retail windows along the street frontages, has some sort of element of interest at the corner of the site where the pavers are depicted, and has a roof deck/green roof amenity.

So how does it fit with your ideal of Milwaukee Avenue development?  How does it fit in with existing Milwaukee Avenue development?  What’s good about it?  How would you improve on the idea?

Besides the retail use on the first floor suggested by the windows, what other uses could you see/would you like to see in such a building?

Does the corner element of interest need to be different than/more than a plaza space?  If so, what should be there?

Just some questions to get you thinking about this as a potential development.  Feel free to address anything about it that strikes you.  The more discussion we have here, the more scenarios I am likely to share in coming posts.

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2 Responses to Hypothetical Milwaukee Avenue development: Scenario 1

  1. erica says:

    I think the massing looks really great in this scheme, I like that it steps up to four levels on the left-hand side. It would fit quite well in the context of the neighborhood but (hopefully) be large enough to be profitable.

    The green roof/ roof deck is very desirable, but it is quite expensive. It also wouldn’t likely be a publicly accessible space.

    All in all I was happy with the turnout and the level of discussion during the CDI events. I wasn’t able to attend all of them, but what I participated in was valuable. As the Alderman said, its good to think about these issues now as a community while there is a downturn in the real estate market so that when new developments are proposed for the area we’re prepared to discuss them intelligently.

    erica: What about the roof deck/green roof makes it expensive? If there were residential units on the top floor, I would think the deck would pay for itself as a desirable feature. Similarly, I would think the green roof would quickly pay back in tax credits, energy efficiency and appeal. ~ Lynn

  2. Carter says:

    This would be a nice fit for the now vacant lot at Milwaukee & Wolfram.

    I like the idea, I think our bigger problem at the moment is the larger economy, and that more and more people are going to larger big-box stores. Did they offer any hints at what kind of development/retail they think would be successful on Milwaukee? I think the creep north of brewpubs and the like is good, to me Milwaukee Avenue here reminds me of Lincoln Ave around Belmont in 1990. Lots of redundant businesses, low foot traffic considering the nature of the street, not much night life, etc.

    Carter: I don’t have much of an impression of Lincoln Ave. in 1990. Do you think the big box development there, e.g. Whole Foods, spurred the revitalization of Lincoln Ave.?

    I think people will shop where they perceive value. That may be a big-box store or a boutique.

    But, if you’re talking about the economy in terms of the recession, I then can’t figure why we were bypassed in the real estate boom from mid-90s to mid-00s. ~ Lynn

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