The city of Milwaukee has launched a pair of new incentives for construction of new homes in the Josey Heights and Walnut Circle subdivisions, located on the city's near northwest side.
According to a news release, owner-occupants are now able to purchase lots for only $1. The first 10 new owners are also eligible for forgivable second mortgages of $30,000 each. The incentives require owners to live in the new homes for seven years.
The new incentives are made possible with $150,000 from the city, $120,000 from Associated Bank and $80,000 from the Zilber Family Foundation. The city is working with Milwaukee-based Emem Group LLC to offer new home design options in each of the subdivisions.
“Homeownership is an important part of keeping neighborhoods strong in Milwaukee,” Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement. “And with these new incentives, building a home is even more attractive at both Josey Heights and Walnut Circle.”
Walnut Circle is located at North 20th and West Walnut streets, and Josey Heights is located at North 12th and West Lloyd streets. DCD spokesman Jeff Fleming said 33 lots are available at Josey Heights and 29 are available at Walnut Circle. Each of the subdivisions has three houses.
The subdivisions are largely vacant, and haven't seen any new construction since before the housing market crash and Great Recession. But the city has renewed its push to redevelop them due to an improving market and renewed interest, Maria Prioletta, DCD redevelopment and special projects manager, said in an email statement.
"Since that time (of the recession), the City has held and maintained the subdivisions, working to reposition them as the residential real estate market recovered," Prioletta said. "Improving market conditions as well as new interest in the developments provided the opportunity to stimulate the market for new home construction at the sites. To help encourage the market at both subdivisions, the City is providing fully improved lots for $1 as well as purchase subsidies to early buyers."
According to the city's website, the lots are fully improved with sewer, water, lighting and sidewalks. They offer an opportunity for new construction close to downtown.
The three model home designs shown on the website range in size from roughly 1,700-2,000 square feet, have either three or four bedrooms and 2.5 or three bathrooms. Their base prices range from $247,900 to $279,900. With the subsidies, the homes would cost owners about $218,000 to $250,000, according to DCD.
Both subdivisions were developed in the mid-2000s by the city, with the goal of developing single-family new construction and promoting homeownership, Prioletta said.
Josey Heights was the first "green" subdivision built in the state, and features an integrated storm water system that includes permeable paving, bio-filtration rain gardens and bioswales, Prioletta said.
Walnut Circle was acquired in 2005 by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee in 2005. Prioletta said Walnut Circle is directly across from the original Cityhomes subdivision, which was developed by the city in the 1990s.