Video Credit: By SilverWater Productions
Walnut Way’s development, The Innovations and Wellness Commons, Phase I, was given a MANDI State Farm Building Blocks Award, for a real estate project that improves the community. Sponsored by US Bank and LISC, The Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI Awards) celebrated with 15 finalists whose initiatives across the community are revitalizing Milwaukee. Walnut Way is honored to be chosen for this award and excited to see Lindsay Heights among the finalists and winners at this year’s MANDIs.
The Innovations and Wellness Commons (aka The Commons) is a community-driven, cooperatively funded multi-use commercial development on the corner of N. 16th and W. North Ave. in Milwaukee’s historic Lindsay Heights neighborhood. The Commons is revitalizing the commercial corridor of W. North Avenue, creating sustainable jobs, and increasing access to a variety of integrated services – healthy food, workforce training, educational and community programming, and health and wellness services – for local residents.
Many urban and impoverished populations face environmental and social challenges that result in lower health and quality of life outcomes. Low-income neighborhoods frequently lack full-service grocery stores and farmers’ markets where residents can buy a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. The Commons Phase I tenant partnerships focus specifically on creating a healthy food oasis by building a community of food retail, production, and wholesale tenants. The siting of The Juice Kitchen, and housing the Fondy Food Center is just the start of increasing healthy options for residents. Outpost Natural Foods markets increases access to local food options and supports local vendors. The Juice Kitchen serves thousands of healthy food options to customers annually. Fondy Farmers Market creates year long healthy food options at winter and summer farmers markets. MCFI serves children daily by preparing fresh meals.
We are currently fundraising for Phase II. Phase II is set up as a socio-economic cooperative model that will activate the spirit of entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and self-care (through educational and wellness programming) within Lindsay Heights. Tenant-partners include Walnut Way Conservation Corp., CORE/El Centro, Engineering for Kids, Inc., Milwaukee JobsWork, and local health and wellness practitioners. Phase II will also include a 2,000 sq. ft. rooftop convening space that will be open to tenant-partners and community groups for events up to 130 people. Learn more.