City taking steps to attract development to King Drive, Bronzeville sites

The City of Milwaukee’s Redevelopment Authority recently issued a request for proposals seeking developers interested in buying a vacant site on King Drive. The 18,750-square-foot site at 2231 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. is located on the west side of King Drive, just south of North Avenue. The site is just outside of the Bronzeville African American cultural and entertainment district that the city is trying to establish along North Avenue, and between Meinecke and Garfield avenues and 4th and 7th streets. The city’s asking price for the property is $93,750. City officials want to see a mixed-use development built on the site with retail space on the first floor. Proposals for the property are due July 1.

The city also plans to acquire two duplexes, a single family home and three cottages at 2307-2317 N. 5th Street. The city will provide assistance to relocate the residents of the buildings. The buildings will be demolished and the properties, combined with a vacant lot along North Avenue, will be combined to create a site for a future mixed-use Bronzeville development, said Department of City Development spokeswoman Andrea Rowe Richards. Eventually the city will issue a request for proposals seeking developers for that site, she said.

The two sites are both near the intersection of North Avenue and King Drive, which could also see changes soon. Waukesha-based MRED Cummings Commercial Development Corp., Milwaukee-based Endeavor Development Inc. and Milwaukee-based Vanguard Group LLC plan to build a new Walgreens store at 2826 King Dr. That store would replace the existing King Drive Walgreens store at the northwest corner of King and North.

The current King Drive Walgreens is located in Brooks Plaza, which is owned by Inner City Redevelopment Corp., a non-profit organization. If Walgreens moves out it could create a redevelopment opportunity for the key North Avenue and King Drive corner. The ICRC is now working on a redevelopment plan for the Brooks Plaza site, which could include residential, retail and office space.

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