A LOOK AHEAD
Here is a quick glimpse into projects in the works across the country.
Watch for more on them in our blog (AyresAssociates.com/blog/) and in future TRENDS issues.
NEVER SAW THE TRAIN COMING
When you get hit by the Ghost Train in Shorewood, your senses and imagination
take an unforgettable ride in this village just north of Milwaukee. The public art display
of lights and sound commemorates the Twin Cities 400 train that passed through
Shorewood from 1935 to 1963. The Ghost Train started running on Halloween 2016
and “crosses” the Oak Leaf Trail bridge over Capitol Drive twice each night, once in
each direction, at 9:30 and 10 p.m. This project provides a classic example of urban
“placemaking” enjoyed by Village residents and visitors.
Ayres Associates assisted in getting the train up and running by helping the Village
gain approvals from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the City of Milwaukee,
and Milwaukee County. Traffic engineers at Ayres provided services relating to nearby
traffic signal operations and timings to promote safe viewing of the Ghost Train by
motorists and pedestrians.
Videos and information about the Ghost Train and the history of the 400 can be
viewed at the Village’s website.
PRIMED FOR DEVELOPMENT
When a tornado touched down in the Town of Windsor in
northern Colorado in 2008, it cut a path of destruction through
the heart of the Town. One of the tornado’s casualties was the
Windsor Mill & Elevator Co. building, a 29,000-square-foot
building dating to 1899 that had sat vacant since 1990 but was
undergoing the start of redevelopment efforts when the twister
struck. However, new life has now been breathed into the
redevelopment efforts. Blue Ocean Enterprises, a Fort Collins,
Colorado-based company, has purchased the landmark building
and is now working with the Town and the Windsor Downtown
Development Authority to bring its design concept to reality.
Construction has started on a brewery, speakeasy, upscale
restaurant, and office suites at the property. Matt Ashby, an urban
planner for Ayres Associates, serves as the director of the Town’s
Downtown Development Authority. He worked to assist the Town
in putting together an incentive package to fill a funding gap
for the $10 million project, including a Tax Increment Financing
district and façade improvement grants along with Town-
generated funding. “This project demonstrates the revitalization
life-cycle that buildings go through on their way from ramshackle
wreck to thriving landmark,” Ashby says. “Bridging the gap
between local government and the private sector, Ayres helped
to facilitate positive net results to create a win-win circumstance.”
The Windsor Mill looks to open for business near the end of 2017.