Pictures: Grand Avenue owners unveil plans to transform downtown mall

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MILWAUKEE -- The owners of Milwaukee's "Shops of Grand Avenue" have a grand redesign in mind. They are hoping to transform the area into a city hot spot.

mall10"We think this could be the city's most dynamic workspace. You can't find anything like this. You'd be hard pressed to find this in Chicago," said Chris Socha, project architect.

The goal is to transform the mall space from what it is now into a mixed-used development.

"This is a place that we hope is going to give more people more reasons to be here more days of the year," Socha said.


The owners envision Grand Avenue morphing into a three-pronged property. They hope to provide large-scale office space, plus an urban marketplace featuring retailers, restaurants and a grocery store.

"There's entirely too much retail use in this and what we want to do is concentrate that energy on the first floor. And we have opportunity now to breathe life into this place on a daily basis. So imagine hundreds of people here working here every day on the second and third floor," Socha said.

mall8FOX6 News is told that including a grocery store was one of the most popular requests made of the new owners -- hearing that plans for one are in the works was very welcome news for some.

"We've talked about it at work how nice it would be to have a grocery store where you could just pick up a few things on your way home, you know? And I just hope they do it," said Barbara Stanton, who works nearby.

As for what is next, the owners hope to announce some of the key space users by the end of 2016. Construction would hopefully follow 12 to 18 months later.

CLICK HERE for even more on this story via the Milwaukee Business Journal.


  • Bill W

    Are they going to make a designated homeless people section? I was there last month and it was scary.

  • Vlad the Impaler

    Millennial-friendly offices? What is that even supposed to mean? Do they need different kinds of offices than any other generation that does business? Are normal offices not “millennial-friendly”?

    • Mister Customer

      Vlad the Impaler regarding your question what is a Millennial-friendly offices? As the pictures indicate instead of office cubicles its more like a high school library where the staff spends the day f@rting around in a big open space with bean bag or padded chair checking personal social media accounts and texting people who are 10 feet away from you. Also now have the dark room for nap time in the middle of the day. Clearly as many working people know, or even customers at retail stores or restaurants have experienced in general the younger the staffing the less motivated they are. Unfortunately we reached the era where a 20 year old with a dead cell phone battery becomes paralyzed and is unable to function in life turning into the equivalent of a 3 year old lost in a department store.

  • Senya

    It’s a great initiative but for it to be downtown, you run into some pretty scary people around that area. They will def need some pretty serious security to keep away loiters and homeless people. Or just tear the mall down completely because they may be nothing you can do about the kind of people that surround that area. High hopes.

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