African American Chamber’s Legacy project gets WEDC support

African American Chamber of Wisconsin Legacy space
A rendering of the new Legacy space at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. (Galbraith Carnahan Architects)

The African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin’s Chris Abele Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space will receive support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The chamber is in the process of renovating a vacant building at 1920 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to create a new social enterprise space. The co-working space will also include private offices for entrepreneurs to lease, a shared commercial kitchen, a coffee shop and retail space.

The building will also be the new location for the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin’s office, which will move there from 633 W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee.

WEDC is supporting the project with a $144,400 community development investment grant to Milwaukee County.

“We are excited to assist the chamber as it begins its next chapter,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and chief executive officer of WEDC. “This project will bring essential resources to an underserved population in Milwaukee and allow more entrepreneurs to access affordable office space and technology to support their dreams.”

The AACCW launched a $500,000 fundraising campaign in early 2019 to help finance the Legacy project. Then Milwaukee County executive Chris Abele provided a $300,000 gift in late January to support the development.

“The Chris Abele Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space is being developed by the AACCW to give African Americans a safe space to find themselves in the work of entrepreneurship and innovation, where they have largely been excluded,” said Ossie Kendrix Jr., CEO of the AACCW.

The project is just one of several development projects planned on King Drive.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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