See photos of recently completed Soldiers Home redevelopment project

Units already about 90% leased

Old Main building at the Soldiers Home in Milwaukee.
Old Main building at the Soldiers Home in Milwaukee.

Last updated on June 2nd, 2021 at 11:14 am

Madison-based developer The Alexander Co. today celebrated the grand opening of the redevelopment of six buildings on the Milwaukee Soldiers Home campus.

The ceremony marked the completion of a decade-long preservation and rehabilitation project.

“This incredible preservation success demonstrates the benefits of historic restoration and what can be achieved through a successful public-private partnership,” Joseph Alexander, president of The Alexander Co., said.

Six buildings on the campus have been restored as part of a $44 million redevelopment project. They include the iconic Old Main building, the Headquarters Building, the Catholic Chaplain’s Quarters and three private homes.

The buildings now offer 101 supportive housing units for veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. They opened in March. Supportive services are located on-site.

The units are already about 90% leased, and several families have already moved in, according to The Alexander Co.

Established in 1867 after the Civil War, the Milwaukee Soldiers Home is one of three original Soldiers Home campuses in the country.

Restoration work began in 2011, when the campus was added to the National Trust for Historic Preservation list of 11 most endangered historic places. The Milwaukee Preservation Alliance then teamed with NTHP to form the Milwaukee Soldiers Home Community Advisory Council. The Alexander Co., along with veterans groups and preservation organizations, joined the council to explore the redevelopment of the Soldiers Home.

The developer responded to a request from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs seeking developers interested in rehabilitating the six vacant buildings. The VA chose The Alexander Co. and Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee to lead those efforts.

“It is our never-ending obligation as a state and a nation to support our outstanding veterans who have served with honor and courage,” Joaquín Altoro, chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, said. “It has been gratifying and wonderful to work with The Alexander Co. and its partners on the Soldier’s Home project with our housing tax credits and financing. Our collaborative efforts will help house and support our hometown heroes with stable, affordable housing.”

WHEDA awarded the project with tax credits. The credits were one of the numerous pieces that made up the project financing. Other sources included historic tax credits, donations and more.

Preservation work may not be done on the campus. MPA is looking to save even more buildings on the campus. Planning work for that effort is ongoing.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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