Better Block Announces a New Project in West Allis
We are thrilled to be working with West Allis, Wisconsin in the Burnham Pointe neighborhood. If you are in the area, come share your ideas on 6 pm Wednesday, May 1 at Burnham Bowl, 6016 West Burnham Street! For more information about the project, see the press release below.
West Allis, Wis. – West Allis Mayor Dan Devine announced today that the City has partnered with Better Block Foundation, an urban design nonprofit, to initiate revitalization efforts in the City’s Burnham Pointe district in the area of south 60th St. and W. Burnham St.
Better Block’s primary objectives for this area are to inspire neighbors and businesses to reimagine the public space in this corridor and empower those who reside here with the tools and knowledge to create usable community gathering spaces in the area. Past projects Better Block has initiated with other communities include converting a shopping center’s forgotten grassy area into a pop-up park in Montgomery County, Md; creating the world’s largest pop-up bike network in Macon, Ga; and rezoning a street in Dallas, Texas, to transform vacant buildings into businesses and create a walkable neighborhood. Better Block worked with each of these communities to mobilize neighbors to conceptualize and initiate the changes they wished to see. By working with these communities for several months, Better Block leaves the residents organized and prepared to complete the project they have begun and begin work on new projects in the future.
West Allis’ Burnham Pointe area was selected due to its potential as a destination area. With independent businesses, vibrant restaurants, and diverse population, Burnham Pointe is well positioned for residential and economic growth. The City’s partnership with Better Block is not funded through tax dollars, but through its Capital Improvement Fund and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
“We are so excited to work with the community in West Allis to reimagine the Burnham Pointe Corridor,” said Krista Nightengale, managing director of the Better Block. “We have worked around the world to help neighbors bring their dreams for their community to life. When people experience a Better Block, they can build upon the experience of the “quick win” and work toward making permanent and lasting change.”
“We are looking forward to partnering with Better Block and the residents and businesses of Burnham Pointe,” said Dan Devine, mayor of West Allis. “This historic area has so much to offer, and rallying the community to take ownership of this district will only strengthen it further.”
Jason Roberts of the Better Block Foundation and City leaders will host a kick-off event on Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m. at Burnham Bowl, 6016 W. Burnham St., to share information with residents and businesses about the opportunities in the area and the tools that Better Block provides. Interested community members may also sign up at this event to volunteer with the project. Better Block will partner with the City to conduct a survey after this event to gather ideas and feedback about this area. Residents and businesses will steer the remainder of the project as Better Block will collaborate with them and the City to create the desired changes or improvements to the district. This may include creating a community garden, adding additional street lighting, creating a public gathering space, or any other project the neighborhood’s residents are passionate about. “Anything’s on the table,” said Devine. “We can’t wait to see what Burnham Pointe residents come up with to energize this area.”