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Plans announced for 'The Avenue', former Shops of Grand Avenue site

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The plans for the former Shops of Grand Avenue were announced Thursday morning. The new designs include a reimagined spaces including a food hall, new and refurbished offices, unique apartments and new retail concepts.

The new space will be known as The Avenue.

The heart of the new space will be the 3rd Street Market Hall which will be a 35,000 square foot food hall spearheaded by Milwaukee restaurateur Omar Shaikh. The food hall will feature more than 20 vendors reflecting the cultural and ethnic diversity of the region.

“This is much more than just another food hall,” said Shaikh. “And I’m incredibly grateful to the owners for having the patience and guts to do this in a way deserving of this historic location.”

3rd Street Market Hall will include a special event space that will play host to culinary experimentation as well as a platform for Milwaukee’s new and upcoming talent.

“The response from the restaurant community has been incredible,” said Shaikh. “We already have letters of intent for 75 percent of the locations within the space and they’re all chomping at the bit to be a part of what will become Milwaukee’s most eclectic and electric scene.”

Here are six of the restaurants already committed:

Stone Creek. A pioneer craft coffee roaster founded in 1993 in Milwaukee that employs an army of coffee geeks committed to building lasting relationships with its producer-partners around the world, an ambition summarized in its “Farm to Cup” ethos.

Milk Can. A start up concept by Milwaukee chef Kurt Fogle and the team behind Muskego’s Bass Bay Brewhouse. With Wisconsin roots the partners are linked by a common passion: Hometown classics—like burgers, cheese curds & custard reimagined and made better from scratch.

Funky Fresh. Funky Fresh Spring Rolls are handcrafted spring rolls made with fresh and local (when available) ingredients and never deep fried but grilled in healthier oils. Founder Trueman McGee strives to bring not only delicious meals but nutritious options to his customers.

Donut Monster. Chef Jackie Woods along with his wife Sara will open a permanent Donut Monster pop-up at 3rd Street Market Hall. Made daily from scratch with the best available ingredients, these donuts are beloved for their natural tastes of quality fruit in pursuit of the elusive “guiltless” treat.

Char’d. The non-traditional menu is rooted in familiar Korean flavors while showcasing Chef Yosub Yoon’s remarkable creativity featuring everything from super rice bowl dishes to quick bites like Korean fried chicken wings.

Waterford Wine & Spirits. Offering a unique curational tasting and purchasing experience, Waterford’s authoritative collection is unmatched in the region. Founder Ben Christiansen makes available the opportunity to appreciate every drop.

At the center of the 3rd Street Market Hall will be an area for family activities like ping-pong, bocce or even giant Jenga.

Office space will take up most of The Avenue's upper floors. GRAEF, a Milwaukee-based national engineering, planning and design firm, will occupy nearly 35,000 square feet, which is more than 60 percent of The Avenue’s third floor space.

Apartments at The Avenue will be known as Plankinton Clover. It will feature 52 apartments ranging in size from studios to two bedrooms. Amenities for the apartments include a dog wellness area, fitness center, tenant lounge, a private movie theater, access to the innovation convention center as well as bicycle storage and premier parking.

“Look at old photos of the Plankinton Arcade and you’ll be struck by the feel of a quaint urban neighborhood,” said Tony Janowiec, co-owner of The Avenue. “The Clover recaptures that sense while providing residents with ideal work/live opportunities as well as highly-connected interim living options for corporate employers.”

For more information on any of the projects, click here.

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