Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chavez Drive $1.6 Million Five Month Streetscape Development And Improvement Project Completed In Milwaukee's South Side

H. Nelson Goodson, Co-founder of the Independent Riders of Milwaukee, a motorcycle riding group at S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive.

Photo by Juan Morales

August 31, 2010

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (HNNUSA) - On Tuesday, H. Nelson Goodson, Co-founder of the Independent Riders in Milwaukee takes a moment to pose for a historic photo of the S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive Streetscape $1.6 million development. Chavez Drive is scheduled to have all construction completed by the weekend. The project began on April 5, 2010. Chavez Drive was formally known as S. 16th Street.
The Independent Riders is a riding group not associated with any motorcycle club or association. Its membership is composed of law enforcement, professional, blue collar, business owners, including other careers and fields.   
Chavez business district members say, Ernesto and Olivia Villareal, owners of El Rey are working on a deal to sell or lease their old El Rey Grocery store property on the 1000 block of Chavez Drive to a franchised called Dollar Tree by the end of the year.  
An update, construction workers will be removing the yellow street stripes or traffic dividers along Chavez Drive and will replace them to direct traffic on both sides. "I expect for the Chavez Drive to actually open by the weekend. I will miss coming into the area, because I really liked working here where people were so receptive in getting their area improved. We had no problems in getting the project completed. This is the first time, I have worked on a streetscape that had upgraded benches, garbage cans, and bike racks put up. The city needs to come in and put up parking signs and meters along the Chavez Drive. On Wednesday, city officials and others will do a walkby to checkout the completed project," Bret M. Swenson, Project Manager said on Tuesday.
Just in time, before the September 16, Mexican Independence parade and celebration of Mexico's Bicentennial and the Revolution Centennial.
Before the construction, at least 20,000 vehicles drove through Chavez Dr. a day and more than 147,000 per week. With the new Streetscape improvement phase almost completed, city officials and Chavez Drive business owners expect to draw more traffic, tourists and business into the district.
This has been the first season for major construction or business improvement streetscape in decades (more than 40 years) for Chavez Dr. The project was initiated by the City of Milwaukee and Chavez Dr business district board members.
A city economic study reported that the South side households in the predominately Latino community located inside Postal Zip Code 53204 in Milwaukee spend more than $91 million annually in retail goods, according to the 2006 Department of City Development statistics. In one day, they spent approximately $249,315.06. The biggest tax-generating base for the city comes solely from the South side.
In Milwaukee, over 850 Hispanic owned businesses generate more than $225 million in annual sales. It is abundantly clear that the immigration of Hispanics and undocumented immigrants to Southeastern Wisconsin is tied to a large degree to the available resources that Hispanics have in the area.
In Wisconsin, over 3,000 Hispanic owned businesses generate more than $800 million in annual sales creation of jobs and available employment resulting in population growth as well as business growth. The Hispanic population increased by more than 4%, greater than the national Hispanic growth rate, and more than 271,000 Hispanics lived in Wisconsin in 2007. The population of Hispanics has grown by 40% since 2000, according to the U.S. Census report.
The South side project is part of the $1.968 million dollar improvement plan for the Cesar E. Chavez Business Improvement District (BID) #38 Streetscape Project. This is an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Project approved by President Barack H. Obama.
Engineers from Community Engineering & Building Services, LLC are managing and supervising the project.

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