Affordable housing project on Milwaukee’s northwest side gets a boost

City lowering the purchase price for developer to advance 3600@Villard

Rendering of 3600@Villard by Korb+Associates

The city is lowering the purchase price of three properties on the northwest side to advance a four-story affordable housing project.

A rendering of 3600@Villard. (Courtesy Korb+Associates Architects)

The project, 3600@Villard, includes 1,600 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and an attached one-story, 26-space parking structure. The building will contain up to 43 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

The $9.7 million project is being developed by Index Development Group, which includes ACRE graduates Que El-Amin and Alex Walker.

The purchase price of the city-owned properties at 3619, 3621 and 3633 W. Villard Ave. to Index Development Group LLC has changed from $20,000 to $4,350 for the three parcels. The price is based on the land value, according to city documents.

The city Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee will consider the price change on June 12.

“The reduced price really helps us to move forward, given the escalated construction costs,” El-Amin said. “We really appreciate the city being willing to help us complete this project.”

The purchase is predicated on the city’s approval of final construction plans and a signed offer to purchase the two privately owned parcels also included on the site.

Index is working to secure financing from the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program for a tax credit allocation.

The city has also expressed interest in supporting the project in other ways, which could include creating a tax increment financing district, said Jeff Fleming, spokesman for the Department of City Development.

Doing so would require several approvals. TIF districts are not typically created for housing projects; however, the city has created TIF districts for other affordable housing projects.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called for the construction of 10,000 affordable housing units, especially in and around downtown, over the next 10 years during his annual State of the City address in February.

Index is working with Milwaukee-based Korb + Associates Architects and Northbrook, Illinois-based Brinshore Development on the project. Brinshore has completed seven projects in Milwaukee, specializing in low-income neighborhoods and often working with ACRE graduates.

El-Amin said he is hoping to begin construction on 3600@Villard by the end of the year or in early 2019.

Meanwhile, El-Amin is continuing to work on a $60 million, multi-year, three-phase project in the 30th Street Corridor.

The first phase will cost approximately $15 million and include 50 affordable and market rate apartments along 33rd Street, and a community service facility with a business incubator.

El-Amin said he will be applying for state and federal low-income housing tax credits for the project by June 29.

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