3600@Villard Project Gets City Help
City cutting land sale price to facilitate affordable housing development.
City Hall is giving a boost to an affordable housing project slated for the city’s Old North Milwaukee neighborhood. The developers of 3600@Villard, a 43-unit apartment building proposed for 3600 block of W. Villard Ave., will receive a discount on a purchase of city-owned land in order to improve the development team’s odds of securing a critical piece of its financing.
The project would be built on three city-owned lots, originally proposed to be acquired by a partnership of Que El-Amin‘s Index Development Group and Brinshore Development for $20,000. That price is being reduced to $4,350 to accommodate an application for a $645,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank.
Applications to the Federal Home Loan Bank are scored on a point system and having land donated (less than $1,500 per parcel) gives the application more points according to Department of City Development representative Dwayne Edwards.
Council President Ashanti Hamilton, who represents the area on the council, is okay with foregoing approximately $16,000 to get the project off the ground. “This is a small thing that the city can do for a major catalytic project,” said Hamilton. Comparing the project to the nearby Villard Square Libary, which was redeveloped into a mixed-use building, Hamilton said: “this has the potential of being just as catalytic, just as influential.”
The committee unanimously endorsed the reduced sale price. It will go before the full council on June 20th.
The project was awarded $583,500 in low-income housing tax credits from the federal government via the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority earlier this year. Roane said the 38 affordable units will be divided into groups and leased out to tenants making no more than 80 percent, 60 percent, 50 percent and 30 percent of the area’s median income.
The federal tax cut approved at the end of 2017 made financing affordable housing with tax credits more complicated by reducing the demand for the credits. The price of the credits, which are often sold to large institutions, have fallen.
The building is being designed by Korb + Associates Architects. Approximately 2,000-square-feet of commercial space is planned for the building’s first floor.
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