Finally, Greenwich Park Apartments Opens
The six-story apartment building has a mix of affordable and market rate units.
After a decade, the Greenwich Park Apartments have finally opened.
At a ceremony Thursday, the six-story mixed-income building, a block north of North Avenue, was lauded by local leaders as an achievement in egalitarian housing the likes of which the East Side has never seen.
“The amount of effort, time and commitment to get to today has been significant,” said Mark Angelini, the president of Mercy Housing Lakefront, which is non-profit behind the new $13.8 million apartment building.
Mayor Tom Barrett spoke and he mentioned that Mercy Housing first approached the city 11 years ago to work on housing like this in Milwaukee. Ald. Nik Kovac, the alderperson for the building’s new residents, said, “I’ve been alderman now for just over nine years and I feel that most of those nine years have been spent, at least part of some days, talking about this building.”
There were a lot of “hurdles,” as Kovac put it. There was the zoning, the neighbors, the local architecture review board, which sent an early design back according to Architect Jason Korb (“They pushed us to make it better, and I’m glad they did.”), and financing.
“I wish I could say it was easy,” said Wyman Winston, executive director of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. “I can only say I’m honored to work with many of the people here.”
Those that spoke Thursday each had something unique to say about why they persisted for so many years. But the overarching ethos was singular and clear for all: Milwaukee needs affordable housing.
Nearly 70 percent of the building’s units are going to families and individuals that make 60 percent or less of the area median income. That’s 36 out of 53 units, and 14 of them are earmarked for those making 30 percent less than the area median income. The rest of the units are market rate.
So, rather than paying 50 percent or more for housing. The residents will be paying only about 30 percent of their income.
Winston said he crunched the numbers on the project and found that in one year, the total money Greenwich families will save is about $400,000, money which no longer will be competing with, “With their ability to put food on the table, put shoes on their babies,” he said. Millions of dollars will be saved for low income families over the lifetime of the building.
“Those are dollars that go back out into this community,” Winston said. Later adding, “It allows the ability for a family to maybe buy their kids a birthday present or maybe save for college.
Winston said this project “broke the mold,” because it’s not another low-income housing project that will, “reinforce segregation.”
Mayor Barrett said, “This community wants people of all incomes to be able to benefit in a way that we all want to benefit individually.”
One of Greenwich’s new residents illustrated the impact a housing project like Greenwich has. Wayne Porter, 51, was homeless for 3 years, and after going through programs like My Home, Your Home, and Friends of Housing he is among the first residents of Greenwich.
“My case manager mentioned this beautiful place, and I fell in love with it the first time I seen it.”
The apartment he has now is a long way from, “sleeping outside in bushes and cars and stuff like that.”
“The progress,” he said. “That’s moving forward instead of being stuck.”
- Finally, Greenwich Park Apartments Opens - Graham Kilmer - May 4th, 2017
- Greenwich Park Targets Low-Income Residents - Graham Kilmer - Nov 21st, 2016
- Friday Photos: Greenwich Park Nearly Complete - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 16th, 2016
- Friday Photos: New Apartments for the East Side - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 29th, 2016
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Greenwich Park Apartments Taking Shape - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 12th, 2016
- Friday Photos: Finally Comes Greenwich Park Apartments - Jack Fennimore - Nov 27th, 2015
- Plats and Parcels: 342 More Apartments Approved - Dave Reid - Jun 9th, 2015
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Commission Approves 6-Story East Side Apartments - Dave Reid - Oct 29th, 2013
- Eyes on Milwaukee: They Like It, They Really Like It - Dave Reid - Oct 16th, 2013
- Eyes on Milwaukee: New Design for Greenwich Park Apartments - Dave Reid - Oct 9th, 2013
Read more about Greenwich Park Apartments Development here