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VILLARD CHARRETTE

Villard Avenue Community Design & Development Charette

An integral piece in the development for the Revitalization of BID #19 is creating plans that we can champion and use to advocate for the resources needed to make them happen. Our top priority in all of our district plans includes the participation and public input provided by various stakeholders of Villard Avenue. For our design charrette, community input was gathered in a variety of ways. In February and March 2020, three visioning sessions were held to solicit feedback from stakeholders regarding the future of selected properties on Villard Avenue. The focus groups facilitated by Carolyn Esswein, and her team from UWM Community Design Solutions were designed to solicit feedback from stakeholders which included residents, business owners, investors, and partners.


The focus groups were held to re-envision key properties that were identified as a priority from the community visioning sessions that were held in May 2019, in addition to building owners who volunteered to participate. Three of the sites included the City-owned former Villard Library and theater buildings as well as the redesign of the entire street. The other two sites were the former Marineland buildings and the two buildings on the corner of 36th and Villard. 

During the focus groups that were held prior to the pandemic, UWM CDS asked those in attendance questions about new and/or expanded uses for the properties, and specific design ideas.  On the first day of the virtual charette consisted of the architects presenting their initial use and soliciting stakeholder input. Afterward, the architectural firms refined their designs to reflect feedback and presented updated concepts on day 2. Final design renderings were produced and incorporated into this report below.

The focus groups coupled with an online survey in addition to the two virtual charrette planning days helped to better inform BID #19 as we plan a range of program options to further strengthen the corridor, as well as identify development ideas for properties that are currently vacant or vulnerable to change.  The intent of the charrette process is to explore and evaluate development possibilities. It is not intended to imply that the ideas are guaranteed by developers, landowners, or the City of Milwaukee. Ultimately, the goal is to build on existing revitalization plans and create an up to date strategy for the revitalization of Villard Avenue. 

(Click here) to review the Villard Charrette 2019 full report.