Near West Side Partners (NWSP) strives to build partnerships and work with developers to assure a range of quality housing options that appeal to potential homebuyers and residents at all income levels. Developers interested in seeking approval and endorsement from NWSP are encouraged to review the housing goals and development criteria below prior to presenting a proposal for review.

NWSP Housing Goals

Near West Side Neighborhood Data

  • The neighborhoods that comprise the Near West Side have 11,284 housing units in 2,565 structures. 1,082 buildings are single-family homes, 915 are duplexes, and 568 buildings have three units or more.
  • Out of the 568 multi-family buildings, 26% are buildings with 21 to 50 units and 28% are buildings with 50 units or more. Additionally, 52% of total apartments are studio or one-bedroom units.  
  • The neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of single-family and duplex homes are Martin Drive, the Valley/Piggsville, and Merrill Park. There are smaller concentrations of single-family homes on certain blocks in Concordia and Cold Spring Park.

Housing Proposal Submission Process


Submit a 1-page overview of the proposed development, along with initial specs of the project, to Keith Stanley at
  1. An initial review of the proposal will be conducted by the NWSP Executive Director, Associate Director, and co-chairs of the Housing Committee within 14 days.
  2. Developers/partners will be notified of the outcome of the initial review by NWSP and whether the proposal will be forwarded to the NWSP Housing Committee.


The NWSP Housing Committee will review housing development proposals on the first Thursday of every month (excluding December). Upon review, the Near West Side Partners Housing Committee may:
  1. Reject the proposal.
  2. Invite the developer/potential partner to a meeting for further discussion.
  3. Support and advance the proposal.
  4. Request a delay in reviewing/implementing the proposal.


If the proposal is accepted, a recommendation will be made to the NWSP Board of Directors as detailed below. Proposal recommendations will be made within 30-60 days of submission.

Please note: NWSP recommends that all housing developers and partners meet with the Alderman of the District while pursuing NWSP support for the project. NWSP may assist with facilitating the meeting. The Alderman’s position is considered during NWSP’s review of all housing proposals.

NWSP Proposal Endorsement

If, after reviewing a housing development proposal, the NWSP Housing Committee agrees to support housing development, they may recommend that the Board of Directors support the project in one or more ways:

  • Letter of support: NWSP provides a letter of support for the project, which can be used for financing, zoning, to secure neighborhood support or other uses. Letters may be sent directly to the City Council, Planning Commission, other decision-making bodies as specified by the developer, and/or staff contacts.
  • Active advocacy: NWSP actively supports a project by speaking at hearings, neighborhood meetings, and/or other public forums; making phone calls; or attending meetings with the owner, as requested.
  • Access to area residents and employees: NWSP helps market a project by including information about it in newsletters, on the website, and on social media channels. Also, individual employers may market endorsed developments through company newsletters, and other means of communication to their workers

Please note: In rare cases, NWSP may consider investing in a housing development, rehabilitation and/or renovation project by providing a donation of land or land swap, acting as a development partner, providing loan guarantees, and/or assisting with securing gap funds in the form of grants, forgivable loans, or investments. The NWSP Housing Committee may recommend, but cannot commit or guarantee, investment in a particular project or development on behalf of NWSP.


Developers seeking project endorsement from NWSP should present proposals that demonstrate consideration of the following principles:

  • Promote convenient workforce and/or student housing that meets the needs of Near West Side employees, students, and local residents, incorporating a range of price points, unit, and housing types, with convenient access to anchor institutions and commercial corridors.
  • Foster the use of public transit by proposing housing that will be located within walking distance (within ¼ mile) of bus stops located along frequently used routes that serve the area.
  • Encourage pedestrian and bike access by ensuring sidewalks near the proposed development are well-lit and wide enough for two to walk, and incorporating bike racks and bike storage into plans.
  • Encourage livability with a mix of uses by including retail and other amenities that are attractive to local employees and students such as grocery stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.
  • Excellent, quality design and construction that fits into the neighborhood, fosters a sense of community, promotes convenient access to nearby amenities and is well-maintained. Housing should fit the character of the neighborhood.
  • Promote sustainability with “green” development and energy-efficient construction materials and design features.
  • Support local economic development through local hiring and apprenticeships during design and construction.


In evaluating development proposals, the NWSP Housing Committee will rely heavily, but not exclusively, on the following criteria:

Developers are encouraged to promote the following locations for the new development or rehab of single-family housing and multi-family developments.

  • Single-family or two-family, owner-occupied housing:
    • The vacant block between N. 23rd and N. 24th Streets from State Street to Kilbourn Avenue
    • Northeast corner of N. 25th Street and State Street  
    • N. 25th to N. 26th Streets from Wells Street to Kilbourn Avenue 
    • N. 25th to N. 27th Streets from Kilbourn Avenue to Wisconsin Avenue
    •  N. 27th to 29th Streets from Kilbourn Avenue to Wisconsin Avenue
    • Clybourn Avenue from N. 25th to N. 35th Street
  • Multi-family, rental housing:
    • 2404 and 2422 W. Clybourn Street
  • Mixed-Use Development (Commercial/Housing):
    • Vliet St. Corridor, 35th to 40th

Proposed developments shall follow neighborhood design guidelines, fit their setting, complement and enhance the existing neighborhood, and promote a sense of community; further, the design will be pedestrian-friendly and align with other principles of good design.

For multi-family developments and other non-owner occupied developments, the proposal shall demonstrate high-quality development and management team experience and include:

  • A plan for quality management and maintenance of the development.
  • Summary of the owner and/or development team’s track record in selling, leasing, and managing development properties.
  • If applicable, an overview of history with neighborhood and/or tenant relations.
  • An eviction mitigation plan that provides alternatives to an eviction-first policy. Near West Side Partners can assist in the creation of an eviction mitigation plan by offering technical assistance and support.

Proposals shall demonstrate how the project will be developed in a manner that protects the safety of its residents and the neighborhood at large. Meetings with representatives of the NWSP Safety Working team to develop a plan to ensure appropriate safety measures are incorporated into the project are available to proposing developers and partners. Recommendations will be customized based upon the proposed development. and may include physical design and security measures.

Proposals shall demonstrate how the project provides opportunities at a range of price points appropriate for near west side employees, students, and neighborhood residents.

Proposed developments shall provide off-street parking to address resident needs while fostering walking, biking, and transit use.

Proposals shall include amenities that are attractive to Near West Side employees and residents, including, but not limited to, bike racks, storage, and green space, especially for two-family and multifamily developments.

Developers proposing projects with four or more units are strongly encouraged to hold at least one community meeting for surrounding residents to gather information and ask questions about the project. Near West Side Partners will help facilitate, promote, and provide technical assistance for the community meeting.

Developers and partners shall demonstrate a willingness to work with the NWSP, the City of Milwaukee, community organizations, and others to develop projects in a manner that advance NWSP Strategic Plan goals, including maximizing the impact of efforts and encouraging increased investment along commercial corridors in the Near West Side.

Developers and partners are encouraged to support local businesses and workers for construction projects and maintenance of vacant lots.