Dave Reid
Eyes on Milwaukee

Parklet Coming to the Third Ward

Club Charlie's will reclaim loading zone and use it for cafe seating.

By - May 5th, 2014 02:47 pm
Milwaukee's latest parklet. Photo by Dave Reid.

Milwaukee’s latest parklet. Photo by Dave Reid.

The city’s next parklet will soon open in the Third Ward.

Parklets, for the uninitiated, are created by converting parking spots into more highly utilized space such as new green space, cafe seating, or even on-street bike corrals. The idea of reclaiming parking spaces and using them for active uses started in 2005 when the group REBAR, from San Francisco, built a small park in what had been a parking spot. Since that time parklets have spread to cities around the globe, and now cities are implementing policies to allow for and encourage a variety of non-auto uses for former parking spots.

In May, 2011 Colectivo, formerly Alterra, started Milwaukee down the road of converting underutilized street space into more productive uses when they converted a loading zone into on-street bike parking for 20 bicycles at its Prospect Ave. location, effectively creating a 20-fold increase in parking for that cafe. The Nomad and Cafe Hollander followed shortly thereafter by opening the second and third on-street bike parking installations in the city.

At the end of August 2014 Divino Wine & Dine and Two Bucks, 2315-2321 N. Murray Ave., opened Milwaukee’s first shared curbside dining parklet to great fanfare.

And this past week, the platform arrived for the city’s latest parklet, soon opening at Club Charlies, 320 E. Menomonee St. in the Third Ward. It will take the place of a loading zone in front of the establishment and provides a simple, cost effective way for Club Charlies to add additional cafe seating and the grow the business.


More Apartments for Walker’s Point

Soon to be the Oregon at South Water Works. Photo by Dave Reid.

Soon to be the Oregon at South Water Works. Photo by Dave Reid.

On April 22nd, Tom Daykin, of the Journal Sentinel, reported that “LCM Funds 29 Oregon LLC, a group led by investor David Winograd, bought an 82,500-square-foot warehouse, at 221 E. Oregon St., for $2.3 million, according to state real estate records.”

The building had been owned by Lighthouse Development Co, but according to the Journal Sentinel was lost to foreclosure in late 2013.

And today, P2 Development Company LLC, the general contractor, has started converting the five-story, 85,200-square-foot warehouse building into luxury apartments. When finished the apartment building will be known as Oregon at South Water Works, and should open in early 2015.

Quick Hits

  • Development along the E. North Ave. corridor looks to continue this year, as Sean Ryan, of the Business Journal reported: Mercy Housing Lakefront “received $652,500 in tax credits for that project’s first phase of 53 apartments, eight of which would be market-rate.”
  • The long overdue rebuild of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station’s train shed might finally get underway as C.D. Smith is requesting BIDs for subcontractors and suppliers for the project.
  • Despite neighborhood opposition delaying if not killing the recent Dover Street School redevelopment project, development interest remains high in Bay View.  There will be a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, May 21st at 6:30 p.m. at Studio Lounge, 2202 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., to hear about the latest project: Dermond Property Investments’s plan for a 72-unit mixed-use building for the corner of S. Kinnickinnic Avenue and & Ward Street on the former Faust Music site, 2202 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

7 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Parklet Coming to the Third Ward”

  1. Rich Barth says:

    Sorry but what a bad idea. I don’t want to sit outside in traffic having a meal or cocktail. The way people drive now days…you’ll only get ran over! Plus I don’t enjoy car fumes with my meal.

  2. Tim says:

    Rich, you make a great point… that’s why more parking and driving lanes should be converted to pedestrian or bike space.

    I’m sure many bikers would appreciate added protected bike lanes. Also, getting idling cars in parking/loading zones or speeding cars, farther from the tables hugging the building… means you can better enjoy your meal.

    It’s getting warmer out there, enjoy the parklet!

  3. Casey says:

    What? Faust is closed? I swear I was just in there? Man they jumped on that fast.

  4. Christina says:

    I agree with Rich. Putting people in the road to eat dinner and consume alcohol is a disaster waiting to happen.

  5. Archie Leach says:

    EVERY comment you read here against parklets has been said INITIALLY in EVERY city where they’ve been built and EVERY naysayer has been PROVEN WRONG. Turns out that established parklets are VERY popular with the public. The “breathing fumes” IS NOT A PROBLEM. As far as “accident waiting to happen”. Well for starters, in San Francisco – which BTW has around 50 parklets throughout the city – only allows parklets on streets with a speed limit of 25mph. With parklets existing all across North America, only 1 accident has happened and it occurred in San Francisco where a woman that was WAAAAAYYYYY over the legal limit of intoxication plowed her SUV at 1:30 in the morning into 3 cars before badly damaging an existing parklet. The criticisms of parklets in San Francisco? Well being that there is 50 (AND GROWING) parklets, the criticism about them is not their existence but the aesthetics of them. As humans do, people of San Francisco dump on parklets as being ugly or if it is pleasant to the sight.

  6. Linda Keane says:

    Excellent! These are social incubation spaces. Can’t wait until there are more.

  7. Tom D says:

    There is usually parking at both ends of a parklet and those spaces tend to be used more than most (filled with cars who displaced by the parklet, if nothing else). If there is a car next to the parklet on the “upstream” side, that car protects the parklet from rogue drivers. And if somebody is so drunk they can’t see parked cars, people in sidewalk cafes are not much safer.

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