Social Development Commission finds new home in Walnut Way

SD Properties purchases site for $700,000

The property's exterior will be renovated to complement other buildings in Walnut Way.

Social Development Properties, a nonprofit that owns and manages properties serving the Social Development Commission, on Thursday purchased a 32,400-foot building where the commission will begin running its social service programs.

The property's exterior will be renovated to complement other buildings in Walnut Way.
The property’s exterior will be renovated to complement other buildings in Walnut Way.

The SDC operates human service programs for low-income residents of Milwaukee County, including programs focused on asset development, business services, education, family wellbeing and basic needs.

The commission’s new building, which it will lease from SD Properties, is located at 1730 W. North Avenue in Milwaukee’s Walnut Way neighborhood. SD Properties purchased the property from JL Marcus Inc. for $700,000, according to Patrice Harris, direction of community relations and marketing for SDC.

The property also contains a 12,795-square-foot warehouse that will hold program vehicles, equipment and extra storage space.

SDC, which has close to 100 employees, will relocate its operations in early February, vacating its current home, which it also leases, at 4041 N. Richards Street in Milwaukee.

The commission’s new site will be outfitted with two computer labs, two classrooms, a training room, programming and administrative office space, and conference rooms. The building’s interior features open concept office space bordered by offices. SDC plans to renovate the building to add in classrooms and training rooms for its menu of programs.

The commission also plans to add windows to the building to boost natural light flowing in and will redevelop the building’s entrance.

Additionally, SDC will revamp the building’s exterior façade to complement improvements made in the broader Walnut Way neighborhood.

Three parking lots near the property will be open for SDC clients to use. Clients will also be able to access the new location via the Milwaukee County Transit System’s service routes.

The commission has spent the last several months in search of a new property that could accommodate its programming at a more central location.

“The board is excited that this will allow the agency to better serve clients from a centralized, accessible location,” Gerard Randall, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said in a press release. “Even more so, it will become an additional catalyst for economic development and residential transformation along the North Avenue corridor.”

While serving clients from a more accessible location, the new site will also ease the SDC’s property expenses, according to SDC chief executive officer George Hinton.

Continuum Architects, of Milwaukee, is leading the redesign of the interior and exterior. C.G. Schmidt, Inc., also based in Milwaukee, has been appointed construction manager for the project.

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