Milwaukee’s 5xen Super Asian Market expansion wins city endorsement


5xen Super Asian Market plans to expand its operations on Milwaukee’s far northwest side. (Photo: City of Milwaukee)

A $20 million expansion proposed for a large Asian food market on Milwaukee’s far northwest side has received preliminary city approval.

The 5xen Super Asian Market, 6300 N. 76th St., plans to add a three-story, 35,000-square-foot addition, with renovations to begin in January.

The project’s zoning was unanimously endorsed Monday by the Plan Commission. It also needs Common Council approval.

The main floor will have space for two more commercial kitchens that serve food for carryout or for dining at the market’s common area seating. The market now has eight commercial kitchens, as well as 24 retailers that sell clothes and other items.

A supermarket that sells Asian foods as well as general grocery items will be added.

The project will include improved meeting space on the market’s second floor for weddings, parties and other events, as well as upper floor offices.

The renovations are to be completed by July 2021.

The project includes using an adjacent property, at 6270 N. 76th St., mainly for parking and green space. 5xen recently bought that site, which includes a former auto repair shop that will be demolished.

5xen Market was known as Phongsavan Asian Market until being sold to 5xen Inc. this spring. That new company is based in Milwaukee and lists Moualee Thao as its registered agent, according to state records.

Phongsavan in 2016 completed a project that created a one-stop shop for the Hmong community with vendors selling both food and non-food items, a food court and a meeting room.

The renovations planned by the new owners are designed to improve 5xen’s visibility, and draw more customers, including people who are not members of the Hmong community.

Commission approves school plan

The commission also recommended zoning approval to allow the former Edison Middle School, 5372 N. 37th St., to be redeveloped into 75 affordable apartments.

The school, which closed in 2008, would be renovated into 64 apartments, with another 11 townhouse-style units to be built on the property along West Rohr Avenue.

That $12 million project is planned by Gorman & Co. The Oregon, Wisconsin-based firm will seek federal affordable housing tax credits to help finance the apartments.

Developers that receive tax credits must generally provide at least 85% of a project’s apartments at below-market rents to people earning no higher than 60% of the local median income.

The tax credits are sold to raise cash, with developers seeking bank loans and other funding sources to complete their financing packages.

Gorman also would buy the former school for $600,000, according to the Department of City Development.

Tom Daykin can be emailed at and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. 

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