$547,000 MEDC loan just a small part of complex Soldiers Home financing

Project will provide 101 supportive-housing units to veterans

The Old Main building at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
The Old Main building at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. Credit: Matthew Gilson

The Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home project is seeking $547,000 from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., adding one more piece to the complex financing picture on the $43.8 million restoration effort.

According to MEDC documents, an affiliate of Madison-based developer The Alexander Co. is seeking the loan to help fund the restoration of six buildings on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center to their original purpose of serving veterans.

The MEDC Loan Committee will consider the request on Wednesday morning.

The Alexander Co. and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee in 2016 were selected for the restoration project by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Once restored, the buildings, including the iconic Old Main, will provide 101 supportive-housing units for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The loan would account for a little more than 1% of the project’s financing sources, according to the MEDC documents.

The largest funding sources include roughly $19.6 million in low income housing tax credits and more than $13.5 million in federal and state historic tax credits.

Beyond that, the project is receiving $5 million in military construction funding; $1.55 million from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority; $608,000 from Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago; $125,000 in Milwaukee Housing Trust funds; and nearly $2.9 million from other grants and contributions.

The Alexander Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Back in 2017, a group of community organizations launched a campaign to raise the remaining $4.25 million needed to finance the Soldiers Home project.

In addition to the Old Main, other buildings that will be renovated are the Administration Building, the Catholic Chaplain’s Quarters and three duplexes. Upon project completion, the Housing Authority will manage the units. Supportive services will be provided by the Center for Veterans Issues.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.