City, State Officials to Break Ground on Allied Drive Rental Units

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 9:37am

Allied Jobs Program Hires Local Residents to Work on Redevelopment

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) Executive Director Antonio R. Riley and Community Development Authority representatives broke ground today on 48 new rental units on Allied Drive.

City officials also highlighted the Allied Drive jobs program which has 18 hired residents from the Allied Drive area to work on the redevelopment project.

"This year we've made major strides in the redevelopment of Allied Drive. This is yet another step forward for the community," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. "The City continues to work closely with neighborhood residents to revitalize Allied Drive with a truly community-based effort."

Through the Allied Job Fair, hosted by WHEDA and McGann Construction,18 people from the Allied Drive area were hired to work on the redevelopment program. After the groundbreaking today, workers will begin construction of 48 new rental units.

This summer, officials marked the first major step of Allied redevelopment with the demolition of existing units, thanks to low-income housing tax credits from WHEDA. Over the next ten years, the project will receive $9.25 million tax credits. The tax credits, which help cut project costs and provide a high level of affordability, were awarded by WHEDA through a competitive, statewide process.

"This project is really rewarding in a number of ways. Not only are we meeting the noble goal of putting a roof over people's heads, we are giving 18 people the opportunity to learn a trade and earn a living," said Riley. "Housing is economic development, and this is an example of that in action."

"After years of hard work and patience by the residents of the Allied Drive neighborhood, it is very exciting to see workers from the Allied Job Fair begin construction on this project," said Ald. Brian Solomon who represents the Allied neighborhood. "My thanks to the Mayor, the CDA, and to WHEDA for their support - and most of all, to the Allied Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Association for their continuing work. This redevelopment is an important step in the continuing revitalization of the neighborhood."

"I also want to acknowledge the successful partnership between the City and State. Were it not for the leadership of Governor Doyle and WHEDA Director Antonio Riley in helping us secure low-income housing tax credits, this project would not have been possible," Cieslewicz said.

The Mayor also praised Solomon, CDA Chair Stu Levitan, Alice Howard and the Allied Area Task Force, and City staff for their efforts to plan, discuss, and design 48 units of rental housing that was set into motion after the City committed to purchase and redevelop the properties.

Levitan, who will be stepping down as chair of the CDA at the end of the year, thanked Cieslewicz and Riley for their critical help on this vital development project.

"The CDA greatly appreciates the financial and staff support from the city, and the allocation of tax credits from WHEDA," he said. "On our own, none of us could have accomplished any of this; working together, we have accomplished a great deal." Levitan also praised Ald. Solomon for his zealous advocacy for the neighborhood, especially regarding employment opportunities. "The people of Allied Drive have a great friend and advocate in Ald. Solomon," he said.

A total of eight buildings were demolished during the first phase. All residents who live in the existing buildings were accommodated elsewhere on the site. Working with the CDA on the project is Dimension Development, LLC (Finance), Schreiber/Anderson Associates, Inc. (site planning, landscape architecture, and project management), and Eppstein Uhen Architects (architecture) through the PUD phase, with Dimension IV Architects handling the construction documents phase. McGann Construction of Madison is the Construction Manger and will be managing the construction of the redevelopment.

  • Rachel Strauch-Nelson, (608) 266-4611