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West Allis uses grant to transform pedestrian pathway into event space

Pedestrian Plaza 1.jpg
Posted at 8:35 AM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 09:35:07-04

WEST ALLIS, Wis. — The City of West Allis recently used a grant to transform one of its pedestrian pathways into an event space.

A news release from the city says the more than $27,000 grant program is designed to help cities revitalize underused spaces to build community and attract future residents.

“Investing in vibrant communities where people want to live, work, and raise families is critical to attracting and retaining workers in our state,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s leading economic development organization. “These grants will help communities create new gathering places in thriving downtowns to draw in residents, visitors, new businesses, and investments.”

To stick with the goals of the program, West Allis used its grant to transform an underused side street into a pedestrian plaza. The plaza, according to the city, will serve as an event venue and community hub for residents and visitors.

It will offer outdoor seating, moveable bars, planters, and lighting paid for by the grant and a donation from Walter Holtz, owner of the Deco.

Pedestrian Plaza 3.jpg
The new event space in downtown West Allis.

The city said The Deco will use the space to host a variety of public and private events. But, when they're not using it, it'll be a space for residents and rest and recharge while taking advantage of downtown business and restaurants/

“We’re excited to bring a pedestrian plaza to Downtown West Allis because spaces like these energize the surrounding area,” said Mayor of the City of West Allis, Dan Devine. “We are very grateful to have partners like the WEDC and The Deco to share our vision and are willing to invest in it. It will bring foot traffic to the downtown businesses and build community within the neighborhood. If all goes well this first year, we expect more private investment in the space over the coming years.”

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