Construction will begin this week for Adams Garden Park, a $1 million redevelopment project that will create a hub for environmental organizations in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood.
The project will include renovating the vacant commercial building at 1836 W. Fond du Lac Ave. and the surrounding block to create office and convening spaces for area environmental organizations. Tenants will include the Milwaukee Environmental Consortium, Milwaukee Water Commons, Wisconsin Conservation Voters and Walnut Way’s Blue Skies Landscaping program.
Developers Sharon and Larry Adams, the retired co-founders of Walnut Way Conservation Corp.
, will host a “groundswell celebration” for the project on Thursday to mark the start of construction.
The Adams Garden Park development team includes the Adams, Mayer|Helminiak Architects, LLC; Juli Kaufamnn of Fix Development; Craftsman Restoration Guild and Jordan Construction Services.
When completed, the environmental hub will be a “welcoming home for everyone who is committing to stewarding natural resources - neighbors, educators, naturalists, sustainable business owners, activists, gardeners and researchers,” the developers said in a statement.
[gallery type="slideshow" size="large" ids="462236,462237,462238,462239,462240,462241"]
“We develop commercial real estate as sacred places for the common good,” Sharon Adams said. “We are investing in blighted commercial spaces as pathways for learning, safe and beautiful spaces and long-term economic viability.”
Sharon and Larry Adams founded Walnut Way with several neighbors in 2000 to address what they saw as a growing problem in their neighborhood: vacant lots and abandoned homes. Their first project was to transform a former drug house on the corner of their neighborhood at 2240 N. 17th St. it into the organization’s headquarters.
In recent years, the neighborhood has seen several new developments, including the Historic Walter Schmidt Tavern redevelopment at 1848 W. Fond du Lac, which houses The Tandem restaurant, Walnut Way’s Innovations and Wellness Commons and St. Ann’s Bucyrus campus.
Milwaukee developer Kalan Haywood also plans to convert the former Sears building
at the northwest corner of Fond du Lac and North avenues into an 80-room boutique hotel and conference center, called Ikon Hotel.
Developers said Adams Garden Park represents an effort to ensure the city's current "renaissance" extends beyond the downtown and into nearby neighborhoods.