African American arts center planned at Bishop’s Creek

Non-profit group seeking zoning change to industrial building

This warehouse could be converted into an African American arts center.

A Milwaukee church group is planning to convert an industrial building on the city’s far northwest side into an African American arts center.

This warehouse could be converted into an African American arts center.
This warehouse could be converted into an African American arts center.

The Bishop’s Creek CDC, an affiliate of Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ in Milwaukee, has asked the city to change the zoning of 3200 W. Hampton Ave., a one-story warehouse at the northwest corner of West Hampton Avenue and N. 32nd Street.

The group wants to use the space as the Institute for the Preservation of African-American Music and Arts to advance the current educational courses offered by the Holy Redeemer Educational Consortium.

The building will be renovated and used as an e-library, a theater, classrooms for art and other activities, a small museum, café, and offices to support the activities on site, according to plans submitted to the city.

A public hearing will be held Aug. 15 during the city’s Plan Commission meeting to decide if the zoning change will take place.

Representatives from Bishop’s Creek CDC could not be reached for comment.

The African American music and arts center development is the latest phase of the Bishop’s Creek redevelopment project. The Bishop’s Creek redevelopment site was the former Kaiser/Greenebaum Tannery Property at the southwest corner N. 32nd Street and Hampton Avenue on the city’s northwest side.

The central portion of the property was occupied by the Greenebaum Tannery from the 1920s to the mid-1950s and housed everything from a paint spray booth to an automotive salvage facility to a machine shop. The Kaiser family operated a business incubator in the locations from the 1950s until 2001.

In 2004, the Bishop’s Creek CDC was formed and began working on restoring the property. The site covers an approximately 1.5 square mile area.

In 2008, the city created a $1.6 million tax incremental financing district to pay for building demolition and cleanup of a former tannery.

In 2010, Bishop’s Creek Family Housing opened. The 55-unit apartment building at 4765 N. 32nd St., was developed by an affiliate of St. Paul-based developer CommonBond Communities Inc., in partnership with Bishop’s Creek Community Development Corp.

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