Darryl J.

Executive Director


Darryl Johnson is the Executive Director of the Riverworks which encompasses three different organizations: Riverworks Development Corporation (non-profit economic development corporation), Riverworks Business Improvement District #25 (quasi-government business district) and Harambee Neighborhood Improvement District #7 (quasi-government neighborhood district). Mr. Johnson has over 30 years of experience of working in community and economic development, non-profit management and holds a MBA from Cardinal Stritch University.

Mr. Johnson has been with Riverworks Development Corporation for over 17 years and during this time he has grown the organization from a staff of 4 to over 24 staff members with a broad menu of programs and services. He has lived and worked in the Harambee community for over fifty years. Mr. Johnson has received extensive training in economic and community development. During his tenure with the organization, Mr. Johnson has development three catalytic projects that are currently owned by the Development Corporation located in Riverworks service area:
* Riverworks Commons Shopping Center a 21,336 sq. ft. retail strip center; $2.2 million
* Riverworks Lofts a 36 units of affordable housing ; $6.3 million
* Riverworks City Center is a 27,149 sq. ft. mix-use development with office and retail; $2.6 million which includes the Financial Clinic Expansion--3,200 sq. ft. clinic operated by Riverworks.

Mr. Johnson is currently working on other catalytic projects: the Beerline Trail which includes the Connector building, 24 unit housing development and the 53212 Marketplace in the Harambee Neighborhood. The Beerline Trail project is a collaborative approach using Creative Placemaking (Arts & Culture), Health, Economic Development, and Equity - in terms of providing opportunities for individuals often excluded from them.

Also, Mr. Johnson has been involved in numerous projects in the area related to creating public space (Beerline Trail Plaza, neighborhood pocket parks, tot lot and open green space for public art). He has helped to attract new companies to the Riverworks Center area. These projects accounted for over $25 million in new investment into the area and the creation of more than 90 new jobs.

Mr. Johnson's role is to lead these organizations by implementing all policies and programs, accounting for all funds, meeting with community residents, elected officials and businesses, fundraising for the different Riverworks' entities, leverage resources, and managing the real estate market and development programs and projects that bring positive monuments to the area.

Greater Milwaukee Foundation 2020 Frank Kirkpatrick Award
Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) 2017 Northern Trust Navigator Award
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Harold E. Eisenberg Next Generation Educational Scholarship

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