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Mo's owner seeks government funds for extra parking in Tosa

April 28, 2010

Wauwatosa - Milwaukee restaurant operator John Vassallo, owner of Mo's Irish Pub and other eateries with the "Mo" name, is asking for government funds to build a parking lot, saying it would help create eight jobs.

Vassallo has requested from the city $280,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds for the parking lot, which would serve Mo's Irish Pub at 10842 W. Blue Mound Road.

The city, however, says it has only $169,300 in CDBG money available.

Vassallo says the parking lot would enable Mo's to accommodate more customers and, in turn, trigger the need for more employees, the report says.

The report notes that Vassallo has not yet acquired one of the two properties that would be used for the parking lot. And it notes that when Vassallo sought rezoning approval for the parking lot, he said the lot was needed to accommodate existing customers.

"This raises concerns that the creation of jobs and expansion discussed in the current proposal may not occur," the report says.

The Mo's request is one of two that will be considered by the city Economic Development Corp. board, which meets at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The other request, for $245,000 in CDBG money, is from Brandon Adams of B&CA Properties.

Adams says he wants to create a regional job training and development center at 6330 W. North Ave.

His proposal "does not appear to indicate funding sources other than CDBG for the construction costs, which raises the concern that the project would not be able to move forward if all the CDBG funds requested are not granted," the staff report says.

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