Wisconsin African American chamber seeking $780,000 MEDC loan

Would finance majority of project costs

African American Chamber of Wisconsin Legacy space
A rendering of the new Legacy space at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. (Galbraith Carnahan Architects)

The African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin Inc. is seeking a $780,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. to finance its office relocation and the creation of its Legacy innovation and co-working space.

In February, AACCW announced plans to open a new innovation and co-working space for African American entrepreneurs at 1920 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Milwaukee-based contractor JCP Construction had at the time already begun construction of the roughly 4,000 square feet of AACCW space in the 11,300-square-foot building. Along with Legacy, the space will also house AACCW’s offices and SHARED, a community commercial kitchen for food entrepreneurs.

AACCW is now seeking a MEDC loan to support the project. The MEDC Loan Committee is scheduled to take up the request on Wednesday morning.

According to MEDC documents, the money will fund the tenant building and working capital. The loan would fund nearly 90% of $873,600 in project costs, with the other $93,600 funded by equity.

Specifically, the project costs include $560,000 for tenant improvements; $90,000 for equipment, furniture and fixtures; $130,000 in working capital; and $93,600 in interest.

AACCW also said in February it has launched a $500,000 fundraising campaign to help finance Legacy. The MEDC documents state the Legacy campaign is seeking to raise $1 million.

Ossie Kendrix, president of AACCW, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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