The Kinnickinnic Business Improvement District has collaborated with Bay View Neighborhood Association multiple times over the years to engage and obtain feedback from the community as to what streetscaping elements would be most important and most impactful in stimulating the KK commercial district. Throughout the process, the KK BID has used this public input as a guide to prioritize initiatives, focusing our efforts to pursue projects meant to encourage neighborhood safety and foster positive feelings of community pride, identification and ownership. Most recently, two open input sessions were held at the Bay View Library on June 13, 2015, and one input session on June 18, 2015 at Bay View High School where a public survey was circulated in person and online. The survey is still open and available to take here.
About the Kinnickinnic Avenue Business District Streetscape Plan
The South Eastside Plan proposed to the KK BID for Kinnickinnic Avenue was conceived by the city as part of a larger, comprehensive plan for Milwaukee. The South East Side Area Plan is one of 13 total area plans, each designed to help stimulate neighborhood growth and guide the direction of development and future projects.
In addition to the public surveys and input sessions conducted to generate feedback from the KK BID’s constituents and local residents, collaboration with the Department of City Development, Department of Public Works, Department of Sanitation and Alderman Tony Zielinski, helped to determine the economic feasibility and conceptual visions of a street enhancement project.
Thanks to the energy, time and careful consideration of the project by all parties involved, a more unified, safe, competitive and attractive business district along KK Avenue can be realized.
The KK BID has accepted the Department of City Development’s offer of $350,000 to facilitate the implementation of these enhancements. The funding is split from two sources within the city: a $175,000 matching grant that is partnered with a $175,000 loan. Not all of the funds are required to be used upon repayment of the loan, however there is a 20 year term for loan repayment with a penalty for prepayment. Repayment will not begin until the project is 98%-100% complete. The interest rate is set at 3.75%, and will not begin to accrue until repayment begins. The KK BID is aware of its fiduciary responsibility to its district, and with the help of the BVNA, the KK BID has acquired and applied for supplementary funds and grants to make every dollar count. Projects within the plan are being prioritized by what the BID can afford to sustain with its annual budget.
Why a street enhancement will help business along KK Avenue
The Kinnickinnic Avenue street enhancement project aims to support and highlight Bay View’s unique identity throughout the length of the KK commercial corridor. Enhancements provide consistency in design elements to visually unify the district, and maintain and support activity at key commercial locations.
To address the segmented nature of the commercial district, a strategy has been developed to cluster major improvements at priority intersections within key retail, storefront and commercial areas that influence visitor perceptions. These locations will be visually connected using branded and consistent design elements and by improving both paved and green spaces along the corridor.
Key features include:
- Gateway signage combined with raised planting beds to improve existing residual space and mark entry to the district on both Morgan Avenue and Becher St.
- Trees and plantings, street furniture, and improved crosswalks to enhance pedestrian safety and promote walking as an attractive experience, while adding amenities and texture to the street.
- Street banners with a corridor logo to promote the business district and tie into all proposed area signage.
The Kinnickinnic Avenue Streetscape project will visually link and unify the entirety of the district, creating an attractive environment that enhances the overall pedestrian experience of Bay View’s premier commercial corridor.