National Avenue has been a keystone in the social and economic history of West Allis. Developed prior to auto-dependence, National Avenue continues to connect homes, businesses, and institutions across several neighborhoods. Today, however, this major urban corridor faces some new challenges.
How do we attract new stakeholders to help create a vibrant business corridor?
What do resident and business owners see or need in the surrounding neighborhoods?
What identity can be brought to the area to foster a unique business district?
What is needed to transform the physical and architectural appearance of properties?
To help answer those questions, the City of West Allis has created several Economic Incentive Programs to boost the corridor into its next stage, and developed a long-term Strategic Plan for the corridor.
STOREFRONT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
The Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) is intended to stimulate exterior building improvements that are visible to customers, merchants, and residents within the National Avenue Commercial Corridor business. The City of West Allis is willing to provide technical assistance and financial incentives to property owners and small businesses who wish to make a creative change to their storefronts. The improvements should produce a visible change and add curb appeal to the building facades.
The InStore Program is a forgivable loan program that helps eligible retail, food, and creative businesses purchase equipment and material associated with establishing a new location or expanding at an existing one within the National Avenue Commercial Corridor. The program is to support transformative projects along the commercial corridor of National Avenue that primarily occupies vacant spaces or underutilized buildings or spaces.
The purpose of the Code Compliance Forgivable Loan Program is to provide assistance in addressing code compliance issues in obtaining occupancy or permits as an expansion of use. The program is designed to assist properties located in the National Avenue Commercial Corridor with code compliance improvements to buildings, such as accessibility modifications, fire systems and other compliance updates that must be made.