Legacy Lofts Rises in Lindsay Heights
Historic structure and new building will be joined to create 64 affordable apartments.
“This development project died at least twelve times. I have never seen anything like it.”
Those were the words of Department of City Development commissioner Rocky Marcoux at the groundbreaking for the $13.9 million, 64-unit Legacy Lofts apartment complex being constructed in the former Blommer Ice Cream factory in Lindsay Heights. The project is located at 1500 W. North Ave., between N. 15th and N. 16th streets.
Construction has progressed significantly since that bitterly-cold November groundbreaking. The three-story ice cream factory, which hasn’t made those frosty treats since the 1930s, is showing signs of life many didn’t think were possible. Gone are the blocked-in windows, hinting at the incredible amount of natural light future tenants will get. The facade, which includes an impressive amount of architectural detail not found on a modern factory, also looks to be in better shape.
The historic structure will soon house 38 apartments, while a new building immediately to the west will include 26 apartments. The apartments in both buildings would be a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units.
The city is contributing $635,000 to the project through a tax-incremental financing district. At the groundbreaking, Marcoux declared that “every citizen who lives in this city should have equal access to that money, it’s not just for skyscrapers Downtown or affluent areas.”
But the city is far from the only partner in the $13.9 million project. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is contributing $7 million in low-income housing tax credits to the project, as well as a first and second mortgage and an $8.5 million construction loan. Historic preservation tax credits from the federal and state governments will contribute $2.5 million to the project.
Of the 64 units in the project, only 10 will be available as market-rate housing. The bulk of the units in the project will be affordable housing set aside for those making between $17,400 and $46,920. Sixteen of the units will be made available for those participating in WHEDA’s supportive housing program designed to combat homelessness.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was originally scheduled for August 2018, but judging by the lack of windows on the old building or a facade on the new one, that date seems unlikely to be kept.
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