Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI)

On September 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Marquette University and Near West Side Partners a $1.3 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) planning grant to create a locally-driven, comprehensive strategy to transform the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee’s College Court development and the surrounding neighborhood into an inclusive community of opportunity where people want to live, work, and play.

Following a two-year process of input and community consideration and in partnership with Marquette University, Near West Side Partners completed the Near West Side Transformation Plan in early 2021.

This plan outlined several strategies known as “Action Activities” to improve aspects of the community immediately and set aside $950,000 for those strategies. Read more below on how those Action Activities have been implemented in the community since. 

Action Activities

Painting The Near West Side

The Near West Side has gained eight new public art installations since 2021 via “Painting the Near West Side.” Interested in learning more about our mural artists? Check out these video bios from Brad Anthony Bernard, Brandon Minga, Byada Meredith, Fred Kaems, and Rosy Petri.

Read more below: 

On Cultural Art, the Voices of Black Athletes, and Sharing New Stories with the Community

Muralists Bring Community Closer Together Through Empowerment, Collaboration 

Near West Side Murals Expose Residents to Art, Community Work in Unique Ways

Neighborhood Gateway Markers

Eight murals have been added all over the Near West Side, becoming a visible symbol of pride in the neighborhood’s history and character. They designate each neighborhood and its connection to the overall Near West Side.

Read more below:

Seven Neighborhood Markers to Be Installed in the Spring

The New State Music Park

The music park is complete! The park is a gathering space where neighbors can hear live music and enjoy each other’s company outside. Learn more here.

Read more below: 


Traffic Calming Planters

To simultaneously curb reckless driving and beautify the neighborhood, 22 large concrete flower planters were installed along North 27th Street. 

Read more below: 

Traffic Calming Efforts in the Near West Side

Storefront Improvement Program

The Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) enabled the large-scale revitalization of 18 properties—including 10 vacant properties—by providing funds for exterior improvements that brought visible change to commercial corridors. Eight of the 10 previously vacant storefronts attracted tenants and are now occupied. 

More information coming soon.

“Fats Triangle”

NWSP has redeveloped the triangle median at North 35th and West State Streets. Public art and new landscaping have turned this median, known as “Fats Triangle” into a beautiful pocket park!

Read more below:

The Transformation of Fats Triangle 

Action Activities Updates

See below for past updates on the Action Activities.

Questions? Feedback? Ideas?

We’re here to answer your questions.

Go to Top