Monday, July 28, 2008 - 10:52am
Madison - Local and State officials and residents today celebrated the first major step forward in a major redevelopment of rental housing in the Allied Drive neighborhood.
Mayor David J. Cieslewicz, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) Executive Director Antonio R. Riley, Ald. Brian Solomon, Community Development Authority (CDA) Chair Stuart Levitan, and Allied resident Alice Howard held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the demolition of 48 rental units that will be redeveloped with the help of $7.5 million in WHEDA 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. The project will receive the tax credits over the next ten years.
"This is a great day and a major step forward for the Allied community and City as a whole," said Cieslewicz. "It's also a great example of the City and State working together to redevelop a neighborhood. 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."
The Mayor also praised Solomon, Levitan, Howard and the Allied Area Task Force as major forces in moving this project forward.
"WHEDA believes that a strong neighborhood is made up of good housing, like the rental units here at the Allied Drive Redevelopment, as well as good businesses and good-paying jobs," said Riley. "We are proud of WHEDA's investments in this neighborhood."
The project is the culmination of more than two years of effort by the City, CDA, and Allied area neighbors 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. The project was contingent upon receipt of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through WHEDA.
WHEDA approved approximately $7.5 million tax credits in April. Since then, the City has been working with the neighbors, and the Allied Area Task Force to move the project through the City's review process. The Common Council gave its final approval to the first phase of the redevelopment project on July 1st.
"After years of hard work and patience by the residents of the Allied Drive neighborhood, it is very exciting to begin this project, said Ald. Brian Solomon, who represents the Allied neighborhood. "My deepest thanks to the Mayor, the CDA, and to WHEDA for their support. This redevelopment is an important step in the continuing revitalization of this neighborhood. The day belongs to the residents of this community - it's my honor to be a part of it."
"This community revitalization was done from the inside out. The input of the Allied Community was important to help empower the residents to help shape the future of the community," said Howard, an Allied resident who has been an important advocate and spokesperson for the neighborhood.
"It is to undertake projects like the Allied Drive Redevelopment that the CDA exists. We very much appreciate the opportunity the City of Madison and WHEDA have given us to help revitalize this important neighborhood, and we look forward to a successful project," Levitan said.
Demolition work began last week. A total of eight buildings will be demolished during the first phase. All residents who live in the existing buildings will be accommodated elsewhere on the site. The construction of the new units is scheduled to begin Fall 2008.
Working with the CDA on the project is Downtown Development, LLC (Finance), Schreiber/Anderson Associates, Inc. (site planning, landscape architecture, and project management), and Eppstein Uhen Architects (architecture).
- Janet Piraino(608)266-4611