Last February, The Borg Ward—a long-running Walker’s Point artist collective and performance space, and one of the city’s few options for all-ages shows—abruptly closed. While the announcement came with no notice, Jay Linski and the space’s other operators ultimately decided to end Borg Ward’s run after more than eight years due to a “barrage of inspections and cops we have facing us, and a bit of concern of the structural integrity of the building itself.”
Though the message was clear and the decision was essentially final, there was at least a glimmer of hope the collective could return in some capacity at some point. “You never know, maybe we may get to experience Phase Two of The Borg in the near future,” Linski told us. If that phase does occur, it won’t be happening at 823 W. National Ave.
The building that served as a Milwaukee art gallery, all-ages concert venue, and proving ground for hardcore and experimental projects of both the local and touring variety between 2007 and early 2016 will now house a retailer called Motive8. Exterior signage was installed last week, and the shop that will specialize in “clothing, sneakers, art, music, fashion, culture” had a soft opening event on April 1. The business’ web presence is limited and there are no details regarding Motive8’s official opening at this time, but one thing is certain: The Borg Ward era on National Ave. is officially over.