Friday, May 12, 2006 - 4:18am
Madison – Final court approval was granted today for the City of Madison to acquire a significant portion of the rental housing located in the Allied Drive neighborhood. The acquisition, proposed by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, is an important step in stabilizing the neighborhood and reducing the demand for high levels of social service and public safety expenditures by the City.
The properties, which represent about 20% of the rental housing in the neighborhood, were acquired for $4.35 million, about $1.5 million below what the Common Council had authorized bidding. Cieslewicz had previously rejected as too expensive two prior offers to purchase made by the property’s former owner. TIF funding will be used to complete the acquisition.
“Today represents an important step forward in the City’s commitment to improving the Allied Drive neighborhood, and the lives of Allied Drive residents,” said Cieslewicz. “There will be many difficult decisions in the months ahead, but with today’s acquisition of these properties, we are now ideally positioned to have a positive impact in the neighborhood. Most importantly, it will provide new opportunities to bring owner occupancy to Allied Drive, which will help to stabilize the neighborhood.”
The acquisition makes good financial sense for the City, which last year alone invested over $4 million in support for Allied Drive (including some $2 million in TIF to support private redevelopment of the vacant Super Saver grocery store into affordable rental housing). The Police Department’s West District dedicates over 25% of its patrol resources to this very small part of their region. Creating a more stable, more prosperous Allied Drive neighborhood will help reduce demand for these services.
With acquisition of the property, the City will be undertaking an intensive planning process with the neighborhood, city planners, community leaders and others, including a neighborhood design workshop in July. Issues to be addressed include demolition of some or all of the current properties; owner-occupied housing; maintaining affordable rental housing; and potential redevelopment partnerships with non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
- George Twigg608-266-4611