Governor Evers Announces $5 Million Investment in Near West Side Community Development Project

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The community center will serve as a hub for workforce training, small business development and community engagement, among other key priorities

Chairman Lovell, left, stands with Governor Tony Evers, center, and Keith Stanley, executive director of Near West Side Partners.

A graphic icon representing social responsibility through community engagement from the Beyond Borders strategic planGovernor Tony Evers today announced that the state is planning an investment of $5 million to support economic growth and community development on the Near West Side of Milwaukee. The investment will help establish Concordia 27, a project that will convert a vacant building into a multi-faceted community center.

“Whether it’s financial security, affordable child care, health care and housing, or access to reliable transportation, many factors play a critical role in the success of our children, our families and our state, and that is why a space like Concordia 27 is such an important addition and asset to the local community,” Governor Evers said. “I am proud to announce that we are partnering with Near West Side Partners and investing $5 million to support this important project and see it cross the finish line. By serving as a centralized hub for collaboration, innovation and service, Concordia 27 both uplifts the local business community and increases the level of service available to individuals throughout the Near West Side and beyond. That’s exactly what we mean when we talk about connecting the dots, and I can’t wait to see the positive impact Concordia 27 will have for the nearly 40,000 residents who call the Near West Side home.

Led by local stakeholders, the Concordia 27 project places particular emphasis on connecting the dots to address challenges facing the community, including health disparities, trauma, food insecurity, unemployment, access to transportation and affordable housing. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the state’s investment will help make Concordia 27’s community project a reality. Concordia 27 is expected to create more than twenty new full-time jobs in addition to dozens more construction jobs as the site develops. Plans for the completed project include:

  • Spaces dedicated to associationsas The Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI), Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM), and Wisconsin Community Services (WCS) plan to provide health, wellness, and housing support services;
  • A commercial, demonstration and incubator kitchen operated by MCFI, providing culinary workforce training to youth and adults with developmental disabilities and previously incarcerated individuals, and creating more than 20,000 daily meals, many of which will go to low-income students in the South- eastern Wisconsin; and
  • Community gathering space.

Plans for Concordia 27 also include 30 affordable housing units for seniors and working families.

“Governor Evers’ funding has brought the vision of Near West Side residents to life,” said Keith Stanley, executive director of Near West Side Partners. “We are actively seeking the support of others in our community to amplify the state’s investment and maximize the impact of Concordia 27 and its long-term community offerings.”

In community and nonprofit spaces, local organizations plan to provide direct services and training to community members, including:

  • Resilience- and trauma-informed care and education for 2,600 Milwaukee residents each year;
  • Workplace trauma training for thousands of Milwaukee employees each year;
  • Nutrition and wellness sessions for youth and adults;
  • Annual job fairs in partnership with WCS;
  • Retail space for emerging neighborhood businesses;
  • Improved housing support services; and
  • Easy access to public transport.

More information on the state’s ARPA investments is available atBadgerBounceback.wi.gov. Residents can also view pandemic-related assistance information for families, farmers, businesses, organizations and communities, plus the latest data and success stories on how COVID relief investments are making a difference across the state . For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, subscribe toBadger Bounceback Update List.


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