Antonio Butts, Executive Director
Walnut Way Conservation Corps
Walnut Way Conservation Corps wins prestigious MANDI award for real estate development
Innovation Wellness Commons Phase Two is awarded the State Farm Building Blocks Award
Milwaukee, Tuesday, August 31st, 2021—Walnut Way Conservation Corps received the State Farm Building Blocks Award at the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation. The Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (known as the MANDIs) celebrates the “good news” of successful efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen the community. Awarded to a “real estate project which significantly improves the community” the State Farm Building Blocks Award was presented at a virtual event on Thursday, August 19th.
“This project was a collaboration of Lindsay Heights residents, Walnut Way, and key stakeholders including partners and tenants – brought to life in the midst of the pandemic,” said Walnut Way’s Executive Director, Antonio Butts. “We are honored to be recognized by the MANDI Selection Committee for the Innovations & Wellness Commons, designed to provide culturally relevant wellness and health services for residents, accelerate entrepreneurs in the health and wellness sectors, and spur pathways for employment in the health care sector.”
The first phase of The Commons is a nationally recognized model for pioneering community health and wellness programming, and the second phase expands on this vision. The total project is a 17,200 sq. ft. commercial mix-use development, aimed to meet community health needs, stimulate economic growth, and strengthen social connectivity in the community.
Phase two, located at 1619 North Avenue, is a new construction 5,470 sq. ft. 1.5 story building built on the parking lot adjacent to phase one. Phase two includes street-level commercial space, second-floor offices, and a 2,000 sq. ft. rooftop terrace overlooking W. North Avenue.
Tenants of phase two include an array of services including mental health counseling, nutrition, and recovery. The Milwaukee Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee, the Benedict Center Sister’s Program, Perseverance Health and Wellness, Living Well by Marrika Rogers, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Scholars Program are scheduled to move in by the end of the year.
From public nominations, a volunteer Selection Committee named twelve finalists for the MANDI awards in May, and winners were announced Thursday, August 19, during a virtual event. Finalists and winners are selected by a volunteer selection committee comprised of 33 private, public and government volunteers. All winners received a trophy and $1,000 contribution. For more information on the awards visit www.lisc/milwaukee.org.
About Walnut Way
Walnut Way Conservation Corp. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit neighborhood organization founded in 2000 by Lindsay Heights residents to reclaim and redevelop the economic health and vitality of their community. In the years since, Walnut Way and its partners have rolled out a series of successful and innovative programs and initiatives addressing the neighborhood’s most pressing economic, environmental, and health issues. The Walnut Way Center is located in a carefully renovated, formally infamous drug house. Understanding the importance of valuing place, residents restored this 1910 house, slated for demolition, into an active center where youth, families, elders, homeowners and renters participate in community development. Learn more at www.walnutway.org