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“What’s Not to Like About That?”

Whitney Gould ended a Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on Commerce Street housing development with the above line. This editorial is for those of you who are not “diverse” enough to afford an entry-level model home at $250,000 or the $350,000 “family” home or the $500,000 deluxe model. The Journal Sentinel and the developers seem to have their noses permanently pointed towards the Milwaukee River and Downtown. The view is breathtaking, but let us not lose our senses. The reported $9,000 a year in property taxes on one of these pricey units sounds ridiculous. And why are we asking the developer what he thinks is good for us poorer folk on top of the hill? He does not nor will he live here and he stands to make a lot of money off of this development. If we want to be “grumpy” it is our right. Increasing property taxes on adjacent properties will make our neighborhood less affordable. People tell us they like Riverwest because it is diverse and affordable. If we lose the qualities that the people who live here most like, then that is what is not to like. Friends and neighbors welcome the newcomers on the hill and by the River. Hopefully the new residents are smarter than the Journal Sentinel and the developers who sold them their homes. If they turn around and see what is behind them they will truly find diversity. City life is grand in the mixed neighborhoods of Riverwest and Brewers Hill and Harambee. We have a lot to offer and besides, we’ll be right there at the top of the hill looking down our noses at the fancy houses. If they move in fast enough, they may want to help us preserve what is left of the precious green resource that is the Milwaukee River Valley upstream of all this concrete and glass. And friends, don’t forget we need to save that landmark with the view, Kilbourn/Reservoir Park. Claim this land for Riverwest. Take the high ground; do not surrender. What’s not to like about that? –Vince Bushell Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 3 – April 2002