Affordable housing development in historic Milwaukee neighborhood adds to city-wide development efforts

Affordable housing development in historic Milwaukee neighborhood adds to city-wide development efforts

A new affordable housing development in Milwaukee is a key component to the redevelopment of an entire city block in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood. “The Griot,” which broke ground April 4, will bring 41 new apartments to the neighborhood, including 35 three-bedroom, affordable units for families.

The project is headed by two local developers – Melissa Goins of Maures Development Group and Joshua Jeffers of J. Jeffers & Co. – who are familiar with the neighborhood’s rich history.

Bronzeville used to be home to the highest concentration of African-American-owned businesses in Milwaukee and was a center of arts and culture in the region. But after the construction of Interstate 43, which bifurcated the city, the neighborhood suffered from decades of disinvestment.

As part of the City’s revitalization plan, the development team pulled together a complicated permanent financing structure relying on a $1.2 million loan from IFF; Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity syndicated by Boston Capital; and grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and the City of Milwaukee.

The Griot’s ground floor will be occupied by America’s Black Holocaust Museum, re-opening a brick-and-mortar location after migrating to a web-only presence in 2008. The development also shares the block with the historic Garfield School and the IFF-financed Community Warehouse, a building material resale shop employing and serving the local community. The new affordable housing project is expected to open in spring of 2018.

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