Common Wealth Development ready to go solo on Falconer Cooperative

 
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Full ownership of The Falconer Cooperative, an eight-unit multifamily housing development located in the Williamson Street neighborhood in downtown Madison, transferred from its primary investor, Heartland Properties, Inc. (HPI), the affordable housing subsidiary of Alliant Energy, to Common Wealth Development, Inc, a nonprofit neighborhood organization serving the Williamson Street Neighborhood.
Common Wealth teamed up with the City of Madison and HPI to create The Falconer Cooperative in 1990. Construction of the facility was made possible through an equity investment by HPI, support from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and mortgage financing through Home Savings. The city of Madison also provided low-interest loans through the Community Development Block Grant Office and the Community Development Authority.
The Falconer is named after Michael Falconer, a native Madisonian, who championed multiple efforts to improve conditions for people with disabilities. Today, the Falconer offers an affordable housing option for this population as well as low- and moderate-income families.
HPI formerly owned 99.9 percent of The Falconer, which is managed by Common Wealth. The two-story walkup apartment buildings were designed to blend with the surrounding older single-family homes and includes two one-bedroom, four two-bedroom and two three-bedroom apartments.
"Securing funds is challenging when you're a non-profit developer trying to build affordable housing," said Marianne Morton, executive director of Common Wealth Development. "Fortunately in the case of The Falconer, Alliant Energy stepped forward, through Heartland Properties, as a major investor, partnering with us to transform our plan into a place Madison families are proud to call home. We're now at a point where we can assume financial responsibility for the property and bring the project full circle.
Alliant Energy has actively worked with non-profit housing providers in the Madison area for more than 12 years. "Where the Falconer is concerned our mission is complete," said Dean Baumgardner, vice president of Heartland Properties, Inc. "The facility is financially sound and well-positioned to independently carry on its affordable housing mission. We're proud of our involvement in this successful project and confident in Common Wealth's ability moving forward."
"The Falconer is an excellent example of a successful community partnership to meet inner-city housing needs," added Morton. "Common Wealth and Alliant share a an understanding of the importance of preserving and improving existing neighborhoods and together served as a catalyst for creating affordable housing options."
Transfer of The Falconer's ownership does not mark the end of Common Wealth's relationship with Alliant Energy. The two organizations are exploring other opportunities to provide needed housing for the workforce. "We have a common interest in meeting community housing needs and look forward to continuing our partnership," concluded Morton.

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