Alliant Energy President and CEO, Erroll Davis, Jr., turns over keys for The Avenue

 
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Note: The following is a copy of the speech given by Erroll Davis, Jr.,Alliant Energy President and CEO, at The Avenue ownership transfer ceremony.
It's nice to be here among friendly faces this afternoon. With all the stories in the news about rising natural gas prices, utility executives like myself have not been at the receiving end of too many smiles lately. But, we're working on it.
For more than a decade, we've also been working on finding solutions for those in need of affordable housing.
12 years ago, WPL holding's President James Underkofler, one of my predecessor's, was part of the symbolic wrecking crew at this former UW lab building. He, along with Madison Mutual Housing Association officials and other community leaders, picked up sledgehammers to ceremoniously begin work on what we all know now as -- "The Avenue."
The symbolism of those sledgehammers should not be lost. With a few well-placed swings, those leaders broke through barriers that had been around for many years.
They did it with an innovative public/private partnership that helped revitalize a neighborhood, added badly needed affordable housing, and created a model for living space and park space that is accessible to people both with and without disabilities.
We are proud that Alliant Energy was part of that public/private partnership that began in 1989.
Our Heartland Properties helped make it happen with an investment of one-and-a-half million dollars. Over the years, it has proven to be money well spent.
However, I think the true test of "The Avenue's" success can be told by the people who live here. This afternoon I am fortunate to have the honor of handing over the keys to the able hands of our friends at Madison Mutual Housing Authority.
Under the guidance of the Madison Development Corporation, MMHA is now in a financial position to assume ownership and continue "The Avenue's" affordable housing mission. We are confident this will take place.
"The Avenue" was a starting point for Alliant Energy's commitment to affordable housing. And, we have learned much from this experience.
Since the beginning here, our subsidiary Heartland Properties, has participated in more than 110 developments throughout the Midwest. That translates to 53-hundred high quality, affordable apartment homes.
We know there are more housing needs to be addressed in the communities we serve. We will continue striving to make these a reality. This is truly a business where one can do both well and good at the same time.
Today, I'd like to wish MMHA the best for the future of "The Avenue." In some ways, it's kind of like the feeling you get when you send your kids off to college. You know you've done all you can to help them succeed, still, it's hard letting go.
Given that this was our "first-born," we will always hold a special place in our hearts for "The Avenue".
Good luck on the future and thank you for your attention here today.

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