“Uptown Parklet” could become a permanent community space in downtown Sheboygan

SHEBOYGAN — The popular “Uptown Parklet” could become a permanent public space downtown.

City Administrator Casey Bradley is exploring a plan to make part of the 800 block of St. Clair Avenue, between Paradigm Coffee and Music and 8th Street Ale Haus, open year-round and closed to vehicles, after approval of the Common Council on March 4.

Kate Krause, owner of Paradigm Coffee and Music, and Kurt Jensen, co-owner of 8th Street Ale Haus, piloted the parklet at start of the pandemic. Typically, part of the street is closed off with picnic tables and flower boxes from Memorial Day weekend through October.

“We activated an outdoor space, and it was awesome, and people really took advantage of it,” Krause said.

Another portion of North Eighth Street is closed at Pennsylvania Avenue for 8th street outdoor dining on Tuesdays in summer.

A section of St. Clair Avenue was transformed into a park featuring benches and even a sizable tree, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Efforts to make the Uptown Parklet permanent have been underway for some time.

Krause worked with Heather Cleveland, co-owner and founder of Green Bicycle Company, and Jordan Gottsacker, owner of Honey & Ace, on a vision plan for the space, incorporating public input. Some ideas include adding more shade, a blind, and an rink for rollerblading and ice skating. They also hope to level the sidewalk with the street and add heaters in the winter.

Having this space could create opportunities for more community events, Krause said, such as expanding the local Yokel Yuletide arts and crafts sale.

Bradley said he will work with local businesses, community groups and residents to determine what the best use of the space will be. The city is currently drawing up a call for tenders for architects and designers. The objective is to finalize a project that could be eligible for funding in the 2025 budget.

Contact Alex Garner at 224-374-2332 or [email protected]. Follow her on X (formerly Twitter) at @alexx_garner.

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