A number of businesses along North Avenue in Wauwatosa have established a vision for their part of town, which includes several shops, restaurants and health-related services.
The newly-formed association, MidTown Tosa Inc., which runs from 80th Street west to Swan Boulevard, has established bylaws and created a board of directors to help move the area, made up of about 50 businesses, toward three areas of focus: service, wellness and community, said Jeff Roznowski, a former city alderman who is active with the group and also sits on the board.
Midtown businesses have discussed formal organization for about a year as the group weighed its options and met with representatives from the Village Business Improvement District and the East Tosa Alliance.
'We're really trying to learn from and follow the leads of other business districts,' Roznowski said. 'We've had incredible assistance and help from them.'
Sarah Fowles, co-owner of Ruckus & Glee, 8730 W. North Ave., said while MidTown Tosa Inc. has taken cues from other groups, it's very much focused on developing its own identity.
'We've learned from them but also put that through the lens of what's unique about us,' she said.
Fowles said many businesses would like to undertake traffic safety as a prime concern for the area, as the corridor is not far fromthe bustling Mayfair mall. Plus, many would like to work on the area's beautification, including upgrades like banners.
'We're really upping our game and celebrating when we have achievements,' Fowles said. 'Like, for example, we celebrate when someone puts a new sign on their building. We're all incrementally making improvements in our businesses.'
It's likely that businesses within the region can get involved through membership dues, Roznowski said. Exact fees are yet to be determined, but they could range from $100 to $300 depending on the level at which businesses choose to participate, he said.
The group has also unveiled a new logo, which pays homage to various aspects of Wauwatosa, including the incorporation of red and green to represent the colors of the city's two high schools. The logo, designed by Wauwatosa resident Laura Leach, highlights prominent properties along the corridor: Sendik's Food Market, Colectivo Coffee and a house to note the association's neighborhood presence. A bicyclist is also included in the design to represent what the group hopes will be the eventual inclusion of bike lanes that connect to East Tosa and the Village, Roznowski said.
Promoting the area
The freshly formed association is also gearing up for the second annual MidTown Tosa Week, which highlights several businesses in the area through family-oriented events and promotions.
'It's a chance to meet business owners and a chance to meet their neighbors,' said Fowles of the event, which will run July 9-16. 'I challenge the community members to visit a business they've never visited before.'
The following events and promotions are scheduled for MidTown Tosa Week:
· Colectivo, 9125 W. North Ave. For every one-pound bag of coffee sold, Colectivo will donate $2 to MidTown Tosa Inc.
· Design Vision Optical, 8720 W. North Ave. During the Summer Sunglasses Sale, customers can save $25 to $75 on all in-stock sunglasses for adults with more than 400 pairs to choose from.
· Midtown Dental Care, 8726 W. North Ave. Stop by for a free toothbrush and calendar magnet.
· North Shore Bank, 8706 W. North Ave. Open a Seymour savings account for a 'young saver' and receive $5 in the account along with a plush Seymour toy.
· Ray's Wine & Spirits, 8930 W. North Ave. Put a free Ray's bumper sticker on your vehicle and receive a $5 gift certificate to Ray's Growler Gallery & Wine Bar (must be 21 or older to participate).
· Ruckus & Glee, 8730 W. North Ave. Party with Ruckus & Glee at its anniversary celebration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 16. There will be free fun including face-painting and balloon art, crafts, popcorn, carnival games and more in the parking lot behind the store.
· Sendik's Food Market, 8616 W. North Ave. Enjoy a Sendik's MidTown Macadamia Nut cookie of Sendik's MidTown sausage.
· Shine Salon, 8851 W. North Ave. Schedule a haircut during MidTown Tosa Week and receive a free travel size Aveda Hand Relief.
· Tosa Pediatrics, 8651 W. North Ave. Free screening of 'Inside Out' at 8 p.m. July 14.
· Wauwatosa Wellness Spa, 8500 W. North Ave. Attend a ribbon cutting and open house July 12 to celebrate its expansion. Events begin at 3:30 p.m. and include 10-minute mini sessions, makeup artists and makeup applications, product specials, free gifts with purchase and a 7:30 p.m. live Kirtan in the meditation room.
For more information about MidTown Tosa Inc., like it's Facebook page by searching 'MidTown Tosa, Inc.'