Commercial Corridor Audit aims to build business in the Near West Side

Each year, the Near West Side Partners Inc. (NWSP) PARC team conducts a commercial corridor audit to better understand the street-level changes that are taking place in Milwaukee’s Near West Side. During the audit, Marquette University PARC students travel along the nine main commercial corridors to take an inventory of active properties, empty lots and parcels that have a vacancy. 

This year’s audit specifically highlighted 27th Street, 35th Street, Clybourn and State Street. These corridors offer great potential for development with vacant spaces and vibrant surroundings.    

The Near West Side Commerical Corridor Development Team consistently works to build a pipeline of businesses interested in operating within Milwaukee’s Near West Side with diverse sectors represented and a focus on supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs. Rev-Up MKE is another program supported by NWSP that promotes neighborhood collaboration and business.  

Anne Marie Gunn ‘21, the NWSP Commerical Corridor manager, has facilitated business development in the neighborhood for nearly two years.  

“The data from the audit is crucial to understanding how we might strategically recruit and support entrepreneurs to the area,” says Gunn.   

Jack Hammerton, PARC research assistant and Marquette junior, spearheaded the audit with data analysis assistance from the greater PARC team.  

“Working on the commercial corridor audit was an incredible experience. Not only did I aid in providing data on commercial opportunities in the Near West Side, but I also got to explore the neighborhoods beyond Marquette and learn about vibrant businesses close to home,” explained Hammerton. 

The PARC team seeks to revitalize Milwaukee’s Near West Side through housing stabilization, health equity, safety and commercial corridor development efforts. Projects like this audit showcase the importance of community partnerships. The team is excited to see this important data used for both implementation and expansion in our community.