Take A Survey About What You Want to See In North Avenue Business District

What is your opinion of the East North Avenue business area, and what types of new businesses would you like to see there? What should future development include?

You have the opportunity to shape the future of this area by taking a brief, 5-10 minute survey.

IMG_0191The East Side Business Improvement District, in partnership with The City of Milwaukee, is launching a retail market and planning study to guide retail recruitment/retention and future development of the East North Avenue area. The East Side BID has hired CE Planning Studio and Business Districts Inc. for this planning initiative.

HWTN has also been part of the planning discussions with the BID and other interested parties. Given that business and residential districts directly affect each other, HWTN members and the BID feel it’s important to hear from neighbors and neighborhood organizations.  The BID wants to know how it can work with neighborhoods, what neighbors want and how best to develop and bring vitality to the East Side.

Your identity will be kept confidential but results of this survey will be shared on theeastside.org.

Completed surveys will be eligible for random prize drawings. You could win a gift card to an East Side establishment! (You must provide contact info at the end of the survey to qualify.)

Spread the word to your neighbors, friends and co-workers to make a difference: Take the survey today!


Residents concerned about heavy drinking at North Avenue “Shamrock Shuffle” pub crawl

Area residents are concerned about the “Shamrock Shuffle” pub crawl event on E. North Avenue scheduled for this Saturday (March 9, 2013) that, like similar past events, encourages heavy drinking.

WTMJ-TV aired a news story a few days before the event and a second story the night before about neighborhood and police concerns over safety problems, disorderly conduct and deaths that have occurred at past pub crawls. WISN-TV also aired a story the night before raising the same issues.  And the Milwaukee Journal posted a story on the issue that quoted a resident saying “it’s just a square mile of people littering, shouting and vomiting.”

The sold-out event, which takes place on North Avenue and Water Street, is expected to draw 5,000 people starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Interestingly, an article this week about Shorewood’s bar district include negative references to the heavy drinking that regularly occurs in North Avenue bars. The story quoted a Shorewood tavern owner saying: “A lot of people don’t feel comfortable going to North Avenue after a certain hour, but this isn’t Water Street, and it isn’t North Avenue. It’s truly a mix of everybody.” Another Shorewood bar owner said: “Even on a busy night, my bathrooms aren’t trashed, and people aren’t puking. Those are always signs that you’re not attracting too much of a young crowd.”


Pub crawl disappearance renews focus on events encouraging binge drinking

The tragic disappearance of a 28-year-old man last seen at a Water Street pub crawl reminds us of ongoing concerns about excessive drinking in the E. North Avenue entertainment district.

Our friends at Greenwich Village Neighborhood Association on Wednesday passed a resolution “opposed to new and existing liquor licenses for bars that participate in ad hoc drunken street events.”

According to this comprehensive story by WTMJ-TV, Ald. Nik Kovac is working on such a city ordinance. Greenwich Village Neighborhood Association has asked other neighborhood groups to pass simlar resolutions. Should HWTN join Greenwich Village? Let us know at contact@hwtn.org.

HWTN, Greenwich Village and other neighborhood groups signed a joint letter last year expressing serious concerns over this problem. While we strongly support the success of the E. North Avenue commercial district, we share the concern that allowing businesses to encourage excessive drinking is bad for young people, residents and the positive image that store owners need for success.

Mike from Greenwich Village recently received a message from an old friend that describes the chaos that some of have witnessed ourselves:

Mike, so sad about that missing boy. I was in Milwaukee last weekend. Arrived Friday night, left Monday morning. I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up wine and groceries for my friend and found myself in the middle of that pub crawl. I was there for a funeral and their Mardi Gras beads and drunken revelry was surreal to me. One of them swore at me as he crossed in front of my car. Easy to see how bad things could happen in that atmosphere. I hope he turns up unharmed.