Gov. Evers announces $5 million investment in community development project in Near West Side

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

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

An icon graphic representing Social Responsibility Through Community Engagement from the Beyond Boundries Strategic PlanGov. Tony Evers today announced the state is planning a $5 million investment to support economic growth and community development in Milwaukee’s Near West Side. The investment will help to establish Concordia 27, a project that will convert a vacant building into a multi-faceted community center. 

 “Whether its financial security, affordable childcare, healthcare, and housing, or access to reliable transportation, so many factors play a critical role in the success of our kids, our families, and our state, and that’s why a space like Concordia 27 is such an important addition and asset to the local community,” said Gov. Evers. “I am proud to announce we are partnering with Near West Side Partners and investing $5 million dollars to support this important project and see it over the finish line. By serving as a centralized hub of collaboration, innovation, and service, Concordia 27 is both uplifting the local business community and increasing the level of services available to individuals throughout the Near West Side and beyond. This is exactly what we mean when we talk about connecting the dots, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact Concordia 27 will have for the nearly 40,000 residents that call the Near West Side their home.”

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

  • Dedicated spaces for nonprofits, such as Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI), Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM), and Wisconsin Community Services (WCS) plan to provide health, wellness, and housing supportive services;
  • A commercial, demonstration, and incubator kitchen operated by MCFI, providing culinary workforce training for youth and adults with intellectual disabilities and those previously incarcerated, and creating over 20,000 daily meals, many of which will go to low-income students in southeast Wisconsin; and
  • Community gathering space. 

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

“Funding from Governor Evers has ensured the vision of Near West Side residents can come to life,” said Keith Stanley, executive director of Near West Side Partners. “We are actively seeking support from others in our community to amplify the State’s investment and maximize the impact of Concordia 27 and its community-driven offerings for the long haul.”   

Within the 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 annually;
  • Workplace trauma training for thousands of Milwaukee employees annually;
  • Nutrition and wellness sessions for youth and adults; 
  • Annual job fairs in partnership with WCS;
  • Retail space for emerging neighborhood businesses;
  • Enhanced housing support services; and
  • Easy access to transit.

More information about the state’s ARPA investments is available Residents can also view pandemic-related assistance information for families, farmers, businesses, organizations, and communities, as well as the latest data and success stories about how COVID-relief investments are making a difference across the state. For updates on other recovery-related grant opportunities, sign up for the Badger Bounceback update list.