Shops of Grand Avenue undergoing grand changes

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Idaho Springs CO USA - April 21 2014: People shop in historical buildings stores restaurants and more enjoying the spring day on Miner Street in downtown. Many old and colorful buildings line both sides of the main street with many people and vehicles.

Say goodbye to the Shops of Grand Avenue. The Kubala Washatko Architects UrbanLab, led by Chris Socha, unveiled a bold reimaging of the downtown mall this morning. The renderings, first shown during NEWaukee‘s YP Week, show a dramatic transformation of the entire mall. Gone is any resemblance to a traditional mall, replaced with open floor-plan offices and a dynamic, urban marketplace. The first floor of the historic Plankinton Arcade building is set to become a grocery store, the first in Westown. The western portion of the mall, built in the 1980s, would be transformed into a modern office building with an urban marketplace on the first floor filled with bars, restaurants and retail stalls.

In March we broke the news that the mall was set for a dramatic transformation, but what’s been proposed is certainly far more than most expected. The mall was acquired in December of last year by a partnership of The Aggero Group and Hempel Companies, who stated that they were ready to consider any idea to breathe new life into the mall. The proposed changes show just that, not a retread of the failed idea of a suburban mall in an urban location, but a broader vision of the mall as a mixed-use city center.

Read more at Urban Milwaukee.com