December 20, 2023

Contact: Brenda Levin
Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp.

Rise Madison Development will be 100% Affordable Housing for Working Individuals, Families and Seniors

WHPC to Deliver 245 Apartments in High-Demand Madison Neighborhood

Madison, WI, December 20, 2023 – Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp. (WHPC), a leader in the preservation and development of quality affordable housing for low- to moderate-income populations in Wisconsin, is pleased to announce the new construction of a transformational affordable housing development in Madison, Wisconsin.

Rise Madison is a 100% affordable housing community designed to meet the housing needs of individuals and families, and it is the largest affordable housing project in Wisconsin. The development allows WHPC to fully embrace its mission to provide affordable housing to low- and moderate-income families and seniors in Wisconsin and improve quality of life through neighborhood revitalization.

The $82.3 million development will be constructed on a 6.5-acre site of a former bakery manufacturing facility at the intersection of East Washington and North Fair Oaks Avenues within the Hawthorne neighborhood on Madison’s East Side. Project consultants include Knothe & Bruce Architects, Middleton, WI; McGann Construction, Madison, WI; and engineering firm Vierbicher Associates, Madison, WI.

Former site buildings have been demolished and construction began in December with completion to occur in three phases through October 2025. Two of the four buildings will be ready for resident move-in by February 2025 with pre-leasing to begin in late 2024.

“We are excited to bring to Madison a signature product that will be the largest affordable rental community in the State,” said WHPC President Mary Wright. “We have thoughtfully planned this site for families, individuals, and seniors with a 1.5-acre private park and access to many services, including the Bus Rapid Transit stop, Access Community Health Clinic, Hawthorne Elementary, and the many businesses along East Washington Avenue. We believe this development will be the catalyst for continuing the growth along Madison’s major thoroughfare.”

Rise Madison is the culmination of a strategic partnership between WHPC and the City of Madison. The project addresses the city’s critical shortage of workforce housing by creating a high-quality, professionally managed affordable community.

All units at Rise Madison will be income-restricted and provide vital housing for working persons whose annual incomes fall between 30% to 80% of the area median income (AMI) in Dane County. A two-person household eligible to live at Rise Madison would need to have incomes ranging between $29,310 to $78,160 in 2023 figures.

The mix of units at Rise will be 12 units at 30% AMI, 102 units at 50% AMI, 47 units at 60% AMI, 78 units at 70% AMI, and six units at 80% AMI.

“Rise Madison transforms a previously vacant concrete jungle into a well-designed residential community that will be not only be comfortable but also affordable,” said Development Project Manager Megan Walela. “Apartments for families and seniors will be available to move into as early as spring 2025.”

WHPC was awarded 4% federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) in fall 2023 through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDA). These credits will be purchased by tax credit syndicator CREA of Indianapolis. Other funding sources include a permanent loan funded through tax-exempt bonds from Associated Bank and Johnson Bank, Affordable Housing Program and tax incremental financing (TIF) from the City of Madison, WHPC Capital Magnet Fund, WHPC’s own investment, Dane Workforce Housing Fund, and a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Brownfield Grant.

“The Rise Madison project brings needed affordable housing to a site well served by transit and connected to local schools and colleges,” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “We applaud this thoughtfully designed project, and I am proud of the work the City was able to do to support it.

“With the help of City affordable housing funds and tax increment financing, we were able to help create 245 quality affordable apartments, including several larger, family units which are in high demand in Madison. This is a great example of how the City and the private sector can work together for the benefit of the community.”

Vacant since 2019, WHPC made a successful offer to purchase the former bakery site in July 2021. After the property was under contract, WHPC officials began sharing their vision for the development with the City of Madison, neighborhood stakeholders, and elected officials. Participation in the Madison Common Council’s President’s Work Group on Environmental Justice was also part of the listening process.

In early 2022, WHPC sponsored several neighborhood meetings to present a preliminary Rise Madison concept and acquire feedback from area residents. After several plan modifications gained the support of the neighborhood, WHPC submitted the project to the City of Madison Plan Commission and Common Council, both of whom approved rezoning the project from industrial light manufacturing to multi-family residential with some commercial space.

WHPC collaborated with and responded to neighborhood stakeholders’ needs and concerns, agreeing to incorporate state-of-the-art construction techniques and materials to mitigate sound from Dane County Regional Airport and Truax Field.

Rise Madison will be adjacent to a future bus rapid transit (BRT) stop along a prominent intersection adjacent to the property. The BRT will connect Rise residents with job opportunities and amenities throughout Madison and provide proximity to libraries, schools, parks, restaurants, shopping, and health and community centers.

The development will provide a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments within four buildings. Plans include two-story, three-bedroom townhomes with individual entrances, a three-story walk-up building with an elevator for seniors aged 55 years and older, and two five-story walk-up buildings. The two-story building facing East Washington Avenue will include approximately 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

Rise Madison will create approximately 1.5 acres of park space to complement the existing Hawthorne School open space to the south of the site and extend green space within the Rise community for residents to enjoy.

About Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp.

Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp. (WHPC) is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a prominent leader in the affordable housing industry. Its mission is to preserve, provide and protect affordable housing for the most vulnerable low- and moderate-income populations in Wisconsin. It believes housing is a basic right and the first step in building a better life for the people it serves.

Since 2002, WHPC has acquired, developed, and renovated over 230 affordable rental housing developments representing more than 8,500 family and senior units in 57 counties throughout Wisconsin, the majority of which provide Section 8 rental subsidies for residents who have an average income of about $13,000 per year. Today, WHPC is a $610 million affordable housing provider with annual revenues of $104 million and a net worth of more than $190 million. Standard and Poor’s awarded WHPC with an AA- rating, asserting WHPC has “strong overall management and a strategic plan that supports the corporation’s mission to provide quality low-income housing.” WHPC has invested over $150 million in private equity for some of the largest investment entities in the country, including Boston Financial, RBC, Richman Group, Redstone, Cinnaire, NEF, CREA, Advantage Capital, Sugar Creek Capital, and BMO Harris, all of whom trust WHPC for skilled real estate closing and refined financial management.

As WHPC continues to grow its presence in Wisconsin it will work with its valued partners and, most importantly, its residents, to meet the challenge of helping communities provide affordable housing worthy to be called “home.”

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