Milwaukee's Third Ward Plaza Delayed - Bamboo in the City
Bamboo in the City?
One area I haven't discussed yet is Milwaukee's Third Ward. That is mostly because everyone knows about it! There are bars, art, stores, the Milwaukee Public Market, and a trillion spectacular new condos. But in reality, there is still open space and foot traffic isn't exactly hopping (parking is always full so customers are there!). There has been a proposal floating around the city council for the past year or two to develop a new Bamboo Plaza in the area. I do think this plan would really help the area have a "stick around for awhile" feel to it. Not to mention walking around in living Bamboo is a real treat which I've only had in Bejing China. It was apparently nearly approved before being delayed this month due to some cost and conflicting contruction issues (http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=552046).
Who should pay for a project like this? DCD was originally set to foot the bill utilizing tax revenue from all the new Condo development. Who benefits more from this? The condo developers are already committed, so it doesn't seem like the city really needs this to attract development. Though a little extra investment by the city may help ensure those tax dollars keep rolling in. I wonder if that nearly $1M price tag wouldn't be better spent on another part of the city. Say, adding the bamboo near RiverWest which is still struggling with crime and could use another infusion of excitement. Or maybe along one of the concrete rivers flowing through the city today (for example, Lincoln Creek around Villard and Teutonia). I'll bet the Villard Avenue BID would appreciate it.