Walnut Way Conservation Corp is securing funding for the second phase of its multi-million dollar Innovation And Wellness Commons development project in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood.
The first phase of the project involved renovating an existing building at 1615-1617 W. North Ave. to accommodate four tenants: The Juice Kitchen, Outpost Natural Foods, Fondy Food Center and a commercial kitchen for the Milwaukee Center for Independence. Phase I cost $2.9 million and was completed in 2015.
Phase II involves constructing a 9,000-square-foot, $4.2 million building on a vacant lot immediately east of the Phase I renovation that will house physical, education and economic wellness programs.
Walnut Way, CORE, El Centro, Engineering for Kids, Inc. and Milwaukee JobsWork are lined up as tenants in the new building, which will have a 2,000 square-foot rooftop terrace for tenants and events as well as a meeting room with a commercial kitchen. The building will also have offices for private health care practitioners.
The building is expected to be completed and open in spring 2017, according to an update posted on Walnut Way’s website.
The update also included details about project funding. So far, project developers Walnut Way and Fix Development, LLC, have raised $1.57 million for phase II, which includes a $500,000 grant from the Zilber Family Foundation.
“It has already created jobs as a result of phase I,” Zilber Family Foundation Executive Director Susan Lloyd said of The Commons development project. “Phase II will have similar benefits, but it will also increase neighborhood access to educational resources for kids outside of school.”
The ZFF also created a $250,000 challenge grant fund that will match contributions for the project as they come in.
“One of the real hopes we have is that the challenge portion will spur interest and investment from private donors, small family foundations and businesses that might want to support Walnut Way and a project of this kind,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said Phase II tenants will offer wellness programs that include yoga, acupuncture and message therapy in addition to more traditional health and wellness practices.