Today Congresswoman Gwen Moore announced that the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation (CDC) has been selected to receive a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services (OCS).
The grant will enable the Northwest Side CDC to expand on its partnership with Lena’s Foods by providing a loan to assist in the development of a new retail center, which will house a new Lena’s Food Market and also provide space for other retail and commercial ventures in the Fond du Lac and North Avenue neighborhood.
“Northwest Side CDC has considerable experience in redevelopment, and its ongoing partnership with Lena’s Foods has consistently yielded real gains for low-income residents of Milwaukee,” said Congresswoman Moore. “This project promises to increase job opportunities available to central city residents, as the store and the retail center will provide for additional employers to move into the area.”
In addition to serving consumers’ food needs in central city neighborhoods, Lena’s Foods is also very committed to redeveloping and stabilizing the neighborhoods in which their stores are located. The retail center, created in partnership with Irgens Development Partners and Williams Development Corporation, is envisioned to be an important component of the Legacy Development, a residential development in this neighborhood with 74 owner-occupied single-family housing units, currently in the planning stages. This development from the ground up is a departure for Lena’s Foods, which has traditionally redeveloped existing vacant space.
Staffing for the new Lena’s Foods store will draw on Northwest Side CDC’s expertise working with TANF-eligible parents, as well as its collaborative relationship with TANF agencies, addressing the needs of low-income parents who currently rely on cash subsidies for support. Northwest Side CDC will recruit, train, place and retain un- or under-employed central city residents for living wage jobs with Lena’s Foods and other new employers.