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Friday was truly a groundbreaking day, as Avenir, the first mixed-use residential development to be built within the footprint of the former Park East Freeway, officially began construction. The first phase of the project is a $20.7 million, 104-unit mixed-use building that will have 7,000 square-feet of first floor retail. According to the BizTimes, a Jimmy John’s sub shop and a Great Clips salon have leased a total of 2,500 square-feet within the building. The apartments are planned to open in September 2014. Mayor Tom Barrett spoke of the Millennials finding Milwaukee a good place to live, work, and play and the Avenir helping make that possible. And perhaps he was paying his respects to the soon-to-be-defunct A.V. Club Milwaukee by running through a Make it Now,” to Movoto Blog’s, “The 10 Most Exciting Cities in America.” The significance and complexity of the project was seen in the turnout. Milwaukee County was represented by County Executive Chris Abele, Economic Development Director Teig Whaley-Smith, and Sups. Steve Taylor and Michel Mayo, Sr. The City had a large turnout: Besides Barrett, that included Ald. Nik Kovac, Public Relations Officer Jeff Fleming, Dave Misky from the Redevelopment Authority and four members of the Department of City Development — Commissioner Rocky Marcoux, Greg Patin, Dan Casanova, and Vanessa Koster. Even the State of Wisconsin was represented by Kathryn Berger of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Read the full article at »