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Renovations to the Victory Over Violence Park are among the projects led by the King Drive Business Improvement District. (Photo: City of Milwaukee)

A group that promotes development in Milwaukee’s north side Harambee neighborhood would expand its turf under a proposal endorsed by city officials.

The Historic King Drive Business Improvement District is centered on that street between West McKinley Avenue and West Locust Street.

Its territory would expand to areas north and west of its existing boundary line under a proposal recommended Wednesday by the Common Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee.

That includes adding the Five Points area, where King Drive, West Keefe Avenue and North Port Washington Road converge, and the Haymarket area west of North Phillips Avenue and north of McKinley Avenue.

Business improvement districts are financed through annual assessments on non-residential properties within their neighborhoods.

Those funds finance such things as enhanced sidewalks and other public improvement projects; marketing efforts for neighborhood retail areas; recruitment of new businesses; grants for private developments, and public safety efforts.

The King Drive district plans to expand efforts to provide grants and low-interest loans to help retain and attract businesses, said Deshea Agee, executive director.

The district also continues to work on other activities, such as revitalizing the Victory Over Violence Park, 2615-2643 N. King Drive, as well as creating conceptual plans at potential commercial development sites, Agee told committee members.

Some business property owners have said they are opposed to the King Drive expansion because it would raise their taxes.

Opponents also said property owners in the Five Points area didn’t receive proper notification of the expansion plan.

Other business property owners have said they welcome the expansion, and the new services it would provide.

Also supporting the expansion is Ald. Milele Coggs, whose aldermanic district includes King Drive.

The expansion plan needs full Common Council approval. That could occur at its Sept. 22 meeting.

Milwaukee has around 45 business improvement districts.

Tom Daykin can be emailed at [email protected]com and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

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