, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Work Begins To Fix, Tear Down Blighted Properties In Sherman Park Neighborhood

Effort Is Part Of Walker's $2M Plan To Improve North Side Neighborhood Buildings

Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

A work crew trained by Milwaukee’s Northcott Neighborhood House carefully took off the roof of an abandoned home near North 40th and West Center streets on Milwaukee’s north side Wednesday.

The home is one of roughly 200 city-owned and 300 privately-owned foreclosed and blighted properties in the Sherman Park neighborhood Gov. Scott Walker has vowed to tear down or fix.

Protests in August rocked the north side neighborhood after an African-American Milwaukee police officer shot and killed Sylville Smith, an African-American man law enforcement have said fled a traffic stop and turned toward the officer with a gun in hand when shot. During the demonstrations, residents and community leaders called attention to the area’s poverty.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Since then, Walker has promised $4.5 million to increase job creation and clean up abandoned homes in the Sherman Park area through state and local initiatives.

Northcott Executive Director Mac Weddle says he’s confident a lot of the properties can be fixed up or torn down.

“Nothing’s impossible,” Weddle said. “We’re making a difference. The change has been happening. Now, it’s even getting stronger and better.”

Neighborhood resident Camille Mays said she was glad to see the house come down. She called it an eyesore

“Every time I leave my block or walk or drive away, I had to pass that up,” Mays said. “So, I’m happy. I’m overjoyed to see the improvement in the community.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he believes more businesses and homeowners will move in if abandoned properties are addressed.

The land from the home torn down Wednesday may become a parking lot for a church across the street, Barrett said. The mayor said he believes more businesses and homeowners will move in if abandoned properties are addressed.

Barrett is still talking with Walker’s administration about how to use the $2 million the state has promised for the properties effort.

Related Stories