Hats off Beth Nicols, Milwaukee Downtown, the mayor's West Wisconsin Avenue workgroup and The Marcus Corporation for finding a use for the front end of the old Grand Theatre on Wisconsin Ave. The movie house, 212 W. Wisconsin Ave., closed in 1985.
Last year, Milwaukee Downtown, the business improvement district in Downtown, improved the building with some cool signage and photos, but in May it will convert part of the old theatre into a new Visitor and Newcomer Information Center.
"A Public Service Ambassador will staff the ticket booth at least 40 hours a week. Much like our Traveling Information Kiosk (TIK) or Bicycle Information Kiosk (BIK), visitors and newcomers will be able to seek us out for all things Milwaukee in a year-round location," said the organization in an email announcing the plan.
Many have been pushing for a new use for this space and I truly think this is a solid use, and one that should continue to bring more life to Wisconsin Avenue. West Wisconsin Avenue is active already, and it's encouraging to see continued progress.
And before you start complaining about Wisconsin Avenue, the Shops of Grand Avenue and the difference between West Wisconsin Avenue and East Wisconsin, I challenge you to walk Wisconsin Avenue during lunch hour. It's dense, diverse and amazingly clean for the amount of use that it gets. It's up to us as a community to continue to improve it.
So, again, hats off to the groups and people that made this improvement happen.
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