Anne Marie Gunn ’21 embodies the idea of making a difference. As commercial corridor coordinator for Near West Side Partners, Gunn assists entrepreneurs in Milwaukee’s Near West Side to kickstart and refurbish businesses in the nine commercial corridors, including 27th Street, 35th Street, Clybourn Street, Highland Boulevard, Michigan Street, State Street, Vliet Street, Wells Street and Wisconsin Avenue.
During her time at Marquette, she worked as a programming assistant and student fellow in Marquette’s Center for Peacemaking. Gunn credits the Center for Peacemaking, specifically her involvement with the PARC Resident Survey, with providing her inspiration to pursue a career in the non-profit sector.
The survey was “a great experience to get to know and see the people around me as my neighbors,” Gunn says.
Gunn is working with over 30 businesses looking to operate in Milwaukee’s Near West Side. This is the largest number of businesses that Near West Side Partners has ever been in contact with at once.
In her nearly 18 months as commercial corridor coordinator, Gunn has helped facilitate action following the $1.3 million Choice Neighborhood Initiative grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to Marquette University and Near West Side Partners Inc. This grant aids in the continued revitalization of Milwaukee’s Near West Side by keeping the area an inclusive community to live, work, play and stay. Additionally, Gunn has overseen the installation of traffic-calming planters on 27th Street as well as the redevelopment of Fats Triangle.
Gunn encourages the Marquette community to “break the bubble and be intentional about supporting the businesses west of campus because if Marquette is your home, so is Milwaukee’s Near West Side.”
Some of her favorite spots are Daddy’s Soul Food, Pete’s Pops, Triciclo Peru and Café Deco.