Construction began Monday on a project to revamp the Wauwatosa Village. Crews will be installing new infrastructure, lighting and street surfacing in the coming months.
State Street between Wauwatosa Avenue and Church Street, as well as stretches of Harwood Avenue and Underwood Avenue in the Village, will be closed weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The streets under construction will still be open on weeknights and weekends, said William Porter, Wauwatosa’s Director of Public Works.
Porter said, when finished, he thinks the Tosa Village will be a “showpiece” for southeastern Wisconsin.
He said he’s well aware businesses will be impacted by this summer’s construction, which is scheduled to wrap up by Thanksgiving.
But Porter said the Department of Public Works will hold weekly meetings with businesses to keep them updated on the project. He also said DPW will help coordinate deliveries and trash pickup.
“We know there will be an impact, but we’re committed to trying to minimize that,” Porter said.
At Café Hollander on State Street, the outdoor seating on the patio is a warm weather tradition.
General Manager Stacey Bemowski said she’s worried the construction nearby might alter the atmosphere out there.
“It’ll be a challenge,” she said, “it might be a little louder.”
Bemowski said the restaurant will be in frequent contact with construction crews about when it is able to seat customers outside.
“As much as we can keep the patio open, we definitely will,” Bemowski said.
She said she’s looking forward to having the construction completed.
“We’re ready for it. It might be a hard summer, but in the end it will look nice,” Bemowski said.
That was the attitude at Le Reve Patisserie and Café as well.
Assistant General Manager Tim Minor said he wasn’t too worried about the construction impacting business. He said many customers walk or bike to the restaurant.
Minor acknowledged the construction might deter customers from driving in from further away.
“We do have a far reach with people from some of the suburbs, so there's a little bit of an effect - we'll feel that,” Minor said. “But the community around here is pretty strong and pretty supportive.”
“We look forward to the completion of the project,” he said.
The construction is expected to wrap up in November.