A community on a comeback: Bronzeville looking to fill former Ponderosa restaurant, vacant for 7 years

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The sign still says "Stella's" -- but plenty of people will remember it as a popular Ponderosa restaurant. Now, the city of Milwaukee hopes someone is willing to bring business back to a now-vacant space along Martin Luther King Drive in Milwaukee.

"I see a lot of ideas coming out of here," Francesco Burns said.

Burns says what he sees could benefit both his business and beyond.

"A great space for production. A great opportunity for the community, you know? Very nice," Burns said.

On Wednesday, September 10th, the contract caterer was taking a look at the space at 2730 N. Martin Luther King Drive in Milwaukee. It was once a Ponderosa, and most recently, Stella's Restaurant.

"Being able to come in as a business owner and make some upgrades, and some new installations of concepts, I think will be a vigorous opportunity," Burns said.

The space has been vacant for several years.

Deshea Agee is an economic development specialist with the city of Milwaukee. He says he's hopeful someone will come in and develop the space -- and contribute to the continuing redevelopment in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

"It`s made a significant comeback. When we look at the new homes, the new residences that are here -- we have more people in the neighborhood now. We have more income in the neighborhood. We also have more retail locations," Agee said.

The nine-year-old property, with a $330,000 asking price is part of the city of Milwaukee's "Strong Neighborhood's Plan" which aims to activate vacant spaces and create job opportunities.

"I think anyone who gets this property would have a great opportunity to make a difference in this immediate community," Burns said.

Members of the general public are encouraged to explore this particular opportunity this upcoming Friday morning, August 12th from 9:00 until 10:30 a.m.

Business proposals for the property will be accepted through October 16th.