Thursday, September 16, 2010

Library/Housing Project Set For Friday Groundbreaking In Villard Ave. Neighborhood

Libraries closing...crumbling, inefficient infrastructure...housing declining...

Not in this northwest side neighborhood.

One of the most interesting mixed-use projects and programs that organizations, agencies, businesses and activists have ever created will have its groundbreaking Friday morning when the new Villard Square Library - - along with a business center, study and recreational facilities, and a 47-unit housing component for seniors caring for their grandchildren - - begins taking shape.

In a green, energy-efficient structure.

Talk about serving multiple needs - - Milwaukee: here is your 21st-century multi-purpose community model, beginning tomorrow morning

Details below - - and I will repost at the bottom the text of a comprehensive release about the project from the Library Board.

Villard Square Groundbreaking

Friday, Sept. 17 11:30 a.m.

Corner of North 35th Street & West Villard Avenue

You are invited to join:

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Executive Director Antonio Riley

Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees President Ald. Ashanti Hamilton

Library Director Paula Kiely

Northwest Side Community Development Corp. Executive Director Howard Snyder

City of Milwaukee officials, and Gorman & Company

RSVP to Crystal Sura at or 414.286.3021

From the Milwaukee Library Board:

Villard Square Project Groundbreaking Scheduled for Friday, September 17, 2010
Project construction begins at N. 35th St. and W. Villard Ave.

MILWAUKEE – Groundbreaking for the new Villard Square development will take place on Friday, September 17, 2010 at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of N. 34th St and W. Villard Ave. The ceremony will include Mayor Tom Barrett, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) Executive Director Antonio Riley, Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees President Ald. Ashanti Hamilton (who also represents this area on the Milwaukee Common Council), Milwaukee Public Library Director Paula Kiely, Northwest Side Community Development Corp. (NWSCDC) Executive Director Howard Snyder, and representatives from Gorman & Company, a development and construction company.

Villard Square is a mixed-use development that will include a new Milwaukee Public Library branch on the first floor, with 47 apartment homes on three stories above for families where grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. This development as planned will seek to address two strong needs in the community.

The new library will replace an aging, energy-inefficient building located at 3310 W. Villard Ave. The Villard Square library will cover 12,871 square feet, and will include 50 desktop and laptop computers for users, community meeting and study rooms, children’s and teen areas, and self-checkout stations. An on-site parking lot for 32 cars is part of the library plan.

Engberg Anderson is the interior architect for the new library. The library address will be 5186 N. 35th St.

The apartments will be marketed to grandparents who are raising their school-age grandchildren. Residential units will include central air conditioning, in-unit washers and dryers, and study spaces. Other amenities include a movie theater, a rooftop patio and playground, exercise studio, business center, a counseling lounge, and underground parking.

The address for the apartments will be 3427 W. Villard Ave.

The development partners are Gorman & Company and the Northwest Side Community Development Corp. (NWSCDC), a 501(c)(3) community development corporation. When the current Villard Avenue Library was slated to close in 2003, the NWSCDC had the idea to build a new library on land that it owned to guarantee that the neighborhood would continue to have such an important community educational resource and anchor.

The library remained open, and the NWSCDC fostered support for the mixed-use project, partnering with City elected officials, the Milwaukee Public Library, the City’s Department of City Development, and Gorman & Company to bring the project to fruition.
The Villard Square project is consistent with the area’s master plan adopted by the City, and will be an important new development for a strong and revitalized Villard Avenue.

This project represents an investment of over $11 million in the Villard Avenue neighborhood. Financing is provided by Boston Capital as a tax credit investor, Harris Bank and IFF as lenders, Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) and ARRA Section 1602 funds from WHEDA, and CDBG grants from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the City of Milwaukee.

The City of Milwaukee is committing $1,291,500 to purchase the library space, partnering with the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee (RACM) to creatively utilize New Market Tax Credits in order to reduce the City’s capital outlay for the project.

Villard Square is one of several Milwaukee-area housing developments funded through Low Income Housing Tax Credits that were stalled last year due to the economy. Thanks to the TCAP, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, WHEDA was able to award a $1.29 million loan to cover the gap left by low tax credit prices. In 2009, WHEDA allocated over $7.6 million in tax credits to the development.



No comments: