Heartland Properties to transfer ownership of The Avenue

Madison Mutual Housing Association is new manager of affordable housing development
 
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It was 12 years ago when an innovative plan to build affordable housing in Madison was launched. Alliant Energy's Heartland Properties, Inc. (HPI) worked in partnership with Madison Mutual Housing Association (MMHA) to convert a former UW lab building into 40 mixed-income apartments called The Avenue. Today, it serves as a model for successful community housing and neighborhood revitalization.
As part of the original development plan, MMHA is exercising its option to purchase HPI's interest in The Avenue. A ceremony celebrating the new beginning will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 18 in the Community Room of The Avenue, 1954 E. Washington Avenue. Alliant Energy President Erroll B. Davis, Jr., and HPI President Ruth Domack will present ceremonial keys to MMHA's President Stuart Levitan and First Vice-President Frank Staniszewski. Levitan and Staniszewski also represent Madison Development Corporation (MDC). MDC took control of MMHA and its properties in December of 1999, to re-energize MMHA and provide additional management stability and expertise. MDC's property management staff is now responsible for day-to-day management of The Avenue.
"Having created the original MMHA in the early 1980's through our ground-breaking co-op home ownership program, MDC is delighted and excited about this new opportunity to expand on our long-standing commitment to affordable housing," said Levitan, who is also chair of the MDC Board. He says MMHA is now in a financial position to assume full ownership and operations of The Avenue and continue the affordable housing mission. "Assuming control of The Avenue will enable MDC/MMHA to combine operational efficiencies with meaningful participation in the management of the facility.
The Avenue is a model for public/private partnerships and was one of the first examples of a major Wisconsin-based corporation and a non-profit housing group joining forces to create affordable housing. It was made possible through a $1.5 million investment by HPI and low-interest loans through the city of Madison. The Avenue includes a mix of energy-efficient one, two and three-bedroom apartments including barrier-free designs for resident with disabilities.
As part of the development, HPI and MMHA worked with the Emerson Neighborhood Association to create James Graaskamp Park on the grounds of The Avenue. The neighborhood green-space was the first park in Wisconsin designed for shared use by people with and without physical disabilities. The park honors the late Professor Graaskamp who chaired UW-Madison's real estate and urban economics program and helped create the UW McBurney Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
"The Avenue is a shining example of how public/private partnerships like this can be successful," said Domack. At the time the project was announced, a state task force had clearly documented the need for affordable housing. In response, lawmakers created tax credits for businesses who help provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income people. The Avenue was the first of many HPI investments in similar developments, according to Domack. "We plan to continue this commitment to quality, affordable housing in communities served by Alliant Energy."
Heartland Properties is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Resources with a commitment to pursuing financial, economic development and community partnerships. The company has participated in more than 110 developments throughout the Midwest, representing more than 5,300 high-quality affordable apartment homes.
The Madison Mutual Housing Association is a local non-profit organization with the objective of assisting economic development and providing affordable housing in Madison and Dane County.
Alliant Energy is a growing energy-services provider with operations both domestically and internationally. headquartered in Madison, Wis., Alliant Energy provides electric, natural gas, water and steam services to more than two million customers worldwide. Alliant Energy Resources, Inc., the home of the company's nonregulated businesses, has operations and investments throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico, and New Zealand.

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