Hwy 100 Corridor Study
The City of West Allis is conducting a study of the Highway 100/South 108th St. corridor to evaluate the market feasibility of new businesses, and to create a long-term development strategy for the properties in this area. The study focuses on the 3.25 mile stretch of Hwy 100 that falls within the city limits and the surrounding properties, extending from I-94 to the north, Morgan Street to the south, I-41 to the east, and S. 116th Street to the West.
Gensler, a global architecture firm based in Chicago, was selected by the City to lead the planning and market analysis of this plan. Since mid-August, Gensler has been working closely with the City of West Allis to interview stakeholders and gather data about the study area. Gensler plans to present a final redevelopment plan to the West Allis Common Council for consideration by mid-December 2019.
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Feb. 4 Corridor Plan Presentation
Gensler Consulting presented the Highway 100 Corridor Study Final Report on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Common Council Chambers, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave. at a special meeting of the Committee of the Whole.
The study provides great insight and outlines the wealth of opportunity if a broad and progressive vision is applied to future planning for the overall corridor. The West Allis Highway 100 Corridor Plan provides a long term vision and redevelopment strategy to guide future development along one of the City’s most important commercial corridors. It is designed to improve the economic performance and identity of Highway 100, and is grounded in an extensive market analysis that identifies promising opportunities for growth and diversification. The Plan identifies select opportunity sites for redevelopment with the goal of creating a walkable mixed-use environment not typically found within the corridor today. It also includes recommendations for improving mobility in the corridor, and creating a sense of place through environmental art, lighting, and streetscape. Finally, it provides a series of implementation strategies including zoning code updates, funding strategies, and key action steps.
Nov. 13 Community meeting
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, Gensler consulting and City of West Allis held the second of two community meetings designed to inform and engage residents about the Hwy 100 study. Based on findings and feedback from earlier milestones in the study, Gensler presented a draft of a plan for redeveloping the Hwy 100 corridor. View the informational boards shared at the meeting (PDF) here.
Oct. 17 Community Meeting
On Thursday, Oct. 17, Gensler and the City of West Allis hosted the first of two community meetings intended to inform and involve residents in the Hwy 100 study. At the Oct 17 community meeting, Gensler provided an overview of the planning process and a summary of initial input gathered from community stakeholders, as well as a summary of market analysis findings, and an analysis of the current state of the corridor. Attendees were able to share ideas with members of the planning team, and provided additional input on problem areas and potential opportunities.
data collection: online survey
The City collaborated with Gensler to conduct an online survey of residents, employees, and business owners throughout the study area. The survey was promoted through the City’s social media channels and website in early October, 2019. 231 respondents took the survey; of these, 84% were residents and 6% were business owners (10% of respondents did not disclose this information).
Survey respondents identified traffic and safety/crime as the two key challenges facing the study area. Construction and traffic were identified as respondents’ primary concerns in the study area.
Respondents felt that the area from Lincoln to Greenfield presented the greatest potential for improving the desirability of the corridor, and most noted they visited the area for retail opportunities.
Kickoff: stakeholder interviews and market analysis
Gensler began this project by speaking with nearly 40 City of West Allis employees, officials, residents, and business owners in September 2019. These interviews revealed that mixed-use walkable destinations and entertainment and dining options might be attractive additions to the corridor. Interviewees made it clear that they did not want additional bike lanes, strip malls, or more big box stores in the area. They wanted Hwy 100 to become a destination - with appealing businesses, improved aesthetics, and more walkability.
Gensler also analyzed the households in the study area, as well as the real estate mix. They found that residents in the study area spend the most on convenience, grocery, and health and wellness products, services, and experiences. Traffic and safety were again identified as primary concerns.