The 5 Points Exchange has at least one new vision of what the intersection could look like if projects proposed during the Charette held on Saturday 28th come to bear. The charette, which is a community wide facilitated visioning session, was held by UWM’s Community Design Solutions at the request of Riverworks Development Corporation and with partnership from the Historic King Drive BID, Bader Philanthropies and the City of Milwaukee.
The exchange, which is the intersection of N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., W. Keefe Ave., W. Atkinson Ave., and N. Port Washington Ave. is in the heart of the Harambee neighborhood and could be a critical node for the neighborhood. Currently however, the exchange features many vacant lots and buildings.
In 2016 Bader Philanthropies announced their decision to build their headquarters just south of the area, bringing new light its potential.
The hours long charette looked at six various sites around the exchange and asked groups of residents, developers, bankers, and other community members what they would like to see. Following that, six architectural firms created designs for rehabbed buildings, new construction or a mix of the two to create spaces that met the demands of the stakeholders.
In the end what emerged was a trades training facility for people looking to get into construction, a music/performance studio space for youth, a wellness clinic, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a neighborhood market, and housing apartments.
Now the work is on making the vision become more of a reality. Already Riverworks is working to implement the neighborhood market and housing piece though it’s Fresh Local Equitable Grant from the Kresge Foundation. The early development work is in progress, but some end product is currently expect by 2020.
All in all, the charette provided a blueprint for how the community could develop moving forward, but it will still take much work and hours of review from all stakeholders to make it a reality.