vliet street redevelopment plan

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This report was prepared to address a variety of challenges facing the West Vliet Street business corridor, with the ultimate goal of fulfi lling the corridor’s potential as a regional retail and entertainment destination. These challenges include barriers to connectivity, a shortage of funding for business association activities, and a lack of a cohesive and clear neighborhood identity.

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  • CREATING A SENSE OF PLACEEstablishing a vision for the future of the Vliet Street Business CorridorApplied Planning WorkshopUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeSchool of Architecture & Urban PlanningSpring 2014

  • CONTENTS1 Acknowledgements3 Execu ve Summary5 Introduc on6 Exis ng Condi ons

    11 Future Vision12 Case Studies26 BID Analysis30 Public Input35 General Recommenda ons45 Site Specifi c Alterna ves47 Intersec on at Hawley Road56 Wick Field68 US-41 Overpass78 Appendix

  • 1VLIET ST.CORRIDOR

    CATALYZINGIMPROVEMENTS

    Acknowledgements

    Execu ve Summary

    Introduc on

    Exis ng Condi ons

    Future Vision

    Case Studies

    BID Analysis

    Public Input

    General Recommenda ons

    Site Specifi c Alterna ves

    Intersec on at Hawley Road

    Wick Field

    US-41 Overpass

    Appendix

    This document was created by Mitchell Baker, Robert Lambert, Amanda Yang, Emily Purcell, and Richard VanDerWal, graduate students in the Master of Urban Planning program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee during the Spring semester of 2014.

    We would like to express our special apprecia on and thanks to our clients, Robert Harris and Vanessa Koster, from the City of Milwaukees Department of City Development, John Gietl, from the West Vliet Street Business Associa on, and Larry Kilmer, from Washington Heights Neighborhood Associa on for their guidance, feedback, and support throughout this project.

    We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our professors, Nancy Frank and Carolyn Esswein, for their valuable support and guidance, which has helped us in comple ng this project throughout the various stages.

    We also are apprecia ve of the stakeholders who o ered their me to be a part of our public par cipa on mee ng. We are grateful for their coopera on and informa on that they provided.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • 3VLIET ST.CORRIDOR

    CATALYZINGIMPROVEMENTS

    Acknowledgements

    Execu ve Summary

    Introduc on

    Exis ng Condi ons

    Future Vision

    Case Studies

    BID Analysis

    Public Input

    General Recommenda ons

    Site Specifi c Alterna ves

    Intersec on at Hawley Road

    Wick Field

    US-41 Overpass

    Appendix

    This report was prepared to address a variety of challenges facing the West Vliet Street business corridor, with the ul mate goal of fulfi lling the corridors poten al as a regional retail and entertainment des na on. These challenges include barriers to connec vity, a shortage of funding for business associa on ac vi es, and a lack of a cohesive and clear neighborhood iden ty.

    First, this report outlines the context and the details of these challenges. Case studies are provided as examples of how other communi es addressed parallel issues. Example cases focusing on urban design emphasized con nuity in design, infi ll development, and the crea on of public rights of way that are safe and intui ve for cyclists and pedestrians. Other examples highlight how business communi es raised revenue and determined spending for physical improvements, events, and business development. These successes provided us with a realis c framework for determining how Vliet Street can proceed.

    This report iden fi es ways that Vliet Street could approach the forma on of a Business Improvement District, depending on the total funding goal and the limita ons of individual businesses. Ul mately, we propose that the BID assess member businesses at a monthly rate of $114, yielding a yearly revenue of $75,000. A wide range of op ons are available for BID funding, but we feel this rate e ec vely balances the need to fund BID ac vi es with the limited means of the corridors smaller establishments.

    Drawing on the case studies, likely BID funding, and public feedback, we developed design and land use recommenda ons for the corridor as a whole. Using a design concept that highlights the areas uniqueness, neighborliness, and variety of ameni es, we recommend that the corridor develop wayfi nding signage, install iden fying features like banners, and take advantage of the areas arts presence and space for public art installa ons. These can be accomplished in the short term at a rela vely low cost; as other funding sources become available, we propose the implementa on of tra c calming measures, connec ve infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians, and monumental signage at gateways into the corridor.

    Within the corridor, we found opportuni es for development at a higher density and higher level of ac vity. We propose parcel redevelopments (in addi on to the above improvements) at the western end of the US-41 overpass and at the southwest corner of Vliet Street and Hawley Road. Both sites can support a small mixed-use development with on-site parking, and we suggest a variety of retail uses that could thrive in those loca ons. The US-41 overpass itself should be a priority for infrastructure upgrades and art installa ons; this report provides suggested materials and designs. Finally, we propose transforming Wick Field into a fl agship neighborhood park by establishing year-round venues such as a beer garden or cafe and temporary hockey rinks.

    We are confi dent that these recommenda ons will serve to ac vate underused space within the corridor, genera ng publicity and revenue for the exis ng businesses. West Vliet Street has tremendous poten al for long term growth as a retail des na on, and even modest enhancements to the corridors physical environment will help bring about that vision.

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • 5VLIET ST.CORRIDOR

    CATALYZINGIMPROVEMENTS

    Acknowledgements

    Execu ve Summary

    Introduc on

    Exis ng Condi ons

    Future Vision

    Case Studies

    BID Analysis

    Public Input

    General Recommenda ons

    Site Specifi c Alterna ves

    Intersec on at Hawley Road

    Wick Field

    US-41 Overpass

    Appendix

    West Vliet Street, located at Milwaukees western border, is home to an eclec c mix of businesses, residences, and civic ins tu ons. With a thriving arts and gallery presence, ac ve parks and recrea on sites, and an array of well-known local businesses, West Vliet is well posi oned to draw visitors and customers from all over the metropolitan area. The City of Milwaukee and the West Vliet Street Business Associa on are now developing strategies to raise the business corridors profi le and enhance its regional draw. To increase the corridors visibility and accessibility, the City and the Business Associa on have proposed adding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, improving the urban environment through streetscaping, and adding ameni es such as sea ng, ligh ng, and public art. Furthermore, the Business Associa on is currently considering forming a Business Improvement District (BID) to fund corridor improvements and events.

    Our group was engaged to provide further research and design work to measure the poten al e cacy of the proposed placemaking e orts and iden fy novel and crea ve approaches to development within the corridor. This report contains three major components: research and analysis, overall recommenda ons, and site-specifi c design and development recommenda ons.

    Research and Analysis includes a summary of exis ng condi ons within the corridor, including the strengths of the exis ng business environment and the factors currently impeding growth and marketability. Case studies of areas facing similar challenges have been provided, as well as a comparison of various BID forma on strategies and funding schemes. Overall Recommenda ons

    summarize the iden ty of the corridor in a way that can be leveraged for marke ng and branding, and propose urban design and streetscaping enhancements for the corridor as a whole. Site-specifi c Recommenda ons apply to three focal points within the corridor that were iden fi ed as ideal loca ons for new development or signifi cant infrastructure improvements. These include new development, streetscape design, and infrastructure enhancement proposals.

    Overall, these recommenda ons provide a wide range of alterna ve approaches that could be put in place to help develop the West Vliet Street corridor into a thriving neighborhood center and regional commercial des na on. These recommenda ons balance crea vity and novelty with cost and feasibility; they represent an ambi ous vision for West Vliet but include small-scale projects that can be implemented in the short term. We are confi dent that these recommenda ons address the corridors current challenges and provide direc on for posi ve growth and change.

    INTRODUCTION

  • EXISTING CONDITIONS

    The Vliet Street corridor is located at Milwaukees western border with Wauwatosa. The corridor incudes commercial and residen al development on either side of West Vliet Street between North 43rd and North 60th Streets. For the purposes of this report, the corridor boundary also includes Wick Field, a so ball fi eld owned by the City

    Geographic Context

    of Milwaukee. Vliet Street forms the southern border of the Washington Heights neighborhood and the northern border of the Wick Field and Mar n Drive neighborhoods.

  • 7VLIET ST.CORRIDOR

    CATALYZINGIMPROVEMENTS

    Acknowledgements

    Execu ve Summary

    Introduc on

    Exis ng Condi ons

    Future Vision

    Case Studies

    BID Analysis

    Public Input

    General Recommenda ons

    Site Specifi c Alterna ves

    Intersec on at Hawley Road

    Wick Field

    US-41 Overpass

    Appendix

    Exis ng Uses

  • COMMERCIALVliet Street is a thriving business corridor that has over 75 businesses and organiza ons. This co

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