MILWAUKEE - Northridge Mall shut down over a decade ago triggering more retailers to close and jobs to leave that area, but a new partnership is working to turn that around.
"We can't talk about development without touching the 800 foot giant elephant," Alderwoman Chantia Lewis said.
The "giant elephant" in the room, or the northwest side, in this case, is the former Northridge Mall. The site closed to the public over a decade ago now all that's left is a dilapidated building Alderwoman Chantia Lewis says she wants to make new.
"The need and the desire is there," Alderwoman Lewis said.
"I think now that we have lost so much, it's essentially like a phoenix. Everyone is looking for the rebirth of this area," she continued.
A rebirth that's still in its infancy. Renderings for the area's revitalization focus not only on the mall site, but also properties along Brown Deer Road.
"Once we've seen some of these projects come to fruition," Alderwoman Lewis said.
"I think it would definitely turn the area around and it would be a great impact on not just the ninth district, but the city as a whole," she continued.
To accomplish this goal, Alderman Lewis is working with UWM's School of Architecture & Urban Planning and the Granville Business Improvement District along with other stakeholders. The group is relying on input from the public. The group says they're considering market trends along with the needs of the neighborhood.
"The process is important," Carolyn Esswein of UWM said.
"We look at the sites, why are they vacant? What is the market impact on this as well as why might people be deciding to shop in other areas," she continued.
Alderwoman Lewis plans to host a "State of the district" event Wednesday, April 5 at Vincent High School. The event is slated for 6 p.m., and open to the public.
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