The Innovations and Wellness Commons Awards
Mayor’s 2021 Design Award
Mayor’s Design Award 2021
On June 7, 2021, City of Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett, announced the winners of the 2021 Mayor’s Design Award at Walnut Way’s Innovations and Wellness Commons. This is the 24th year of the annual award program that aims to “recognize design excellence throughout the City of Milwaukee. Recipients have added value to their neighborhoods by restoring, constructing or enhancing their properties in a way that respects the urban fabric and contributes to the character of their surroundings,” according to the City of Milwaukee’s website. The event streamed live from the Wellness Commons green rooftop terrace, installed by Blue Skies Landscaping team, which helps collect stormwater and offers an unparalleled vista onto the North Avenue commercial corridor.
Walnut Way’s Innovations and Wellness Commons was among 25 winners. It was a part of the award category called, Filled In, which exemplifies “urban infill by redeveloping challenging sites with new construction that repair critical gaps in the urban fabric while enhancing their neighborhoods and contributing to the character of their surroundings,” according to the City of Milwaukee’s website. Walnut Way was named winner of the Filled-In Category. Walnut Way is honored to be among the many transformative project finalists across the City of Milwaukee.
Learn more about the annual awards and the finalists by visiting the City of Milwaukee’s website. The video was streamed live on Facebook and is on the Department of City Development Facebook and can be viewed here. The awards were covered by media outlets including Urban Milwaukee and The Milwaukee Business Journal.
MANDI Awards 2017
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.
Conservation and Sustainability
- Solar panel installations (with backup battery power coming soon)
- Energy efficient and operable windows
- Building windows and orientation to capture maximum daylight
- Environmentally friendly paint
- LEED compliant lights
- High efficiency heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system
Developed, Built and Managed by many including People of Color
- Emem Group
- Walnut Way Blue Skies Landscaping – Green Infrastructure
- Security team – Ashford Security
A Multi-Use Space for Small Business Incubation, Social Enterprise, and Wellness
The Commons phase I has achieved its purpose as a local food hub and small business incubator to activate the North Avenue commercial corridor in Lindsay Heights. Phase 1 consisted of a 6,500 sq. ft. renovation of an existing building and a 4,500 sq. ft. new addition equipped with a commercial kitchen operated by Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI). IWC phase 1 is fully funded and leased to tenant-partners: MCFI and Fondy Food Center. The retail space on the first floor is being repurposed into a resident-led cafe by local food-entrepreneurs from Walnut Way’s Community Wealth Building Program.
The Commons phase 2 is a new construction 5,470 sq. ft. 1.5 story building built on the parking lot adjacent to phase 1. Phase 2 will include a 2,000 sq. ft. rooftop terrace and convening space overlooking W. North Avenue that will serve as a community gathering space for up to 130 people. Phase 2 focuses on health, wellness, job training and employment pipeline support. It will serve as a collaborative community center, fostering evidence-based wellness programs, community health research, economic development initiatives, and neighborhood action campaigns to improve individual health and strengthen a culture of wellness in Lindsay Heights.
Our Vision for The Wellness Commons
Director Antonio Butts, meets with Julia Fellow, TMJ4 as we embarked on this major phase of the development project.
Many thanks to TMJ4’s Julia Fellow for visiting Walnut Way to learn about the Wellness Commons.