Governor Scott Walker announced progress on the Transform Milwaukee initiative one year after it was first announced; the historic, comprehensive effort aimed at growing the economy in the City of Milwaukee is showing significant progress in private and public investment.
"So far, private companies and businesses have invested $84.7 million of WHEDA funds and leveraged another $85.3 million in direct investment for a total of $170 million," said Governor Walker. "Halfway through our first two-year commitment to this initiative, that's a phenomenal boost not only for Milwaukee's economy, but for entire state."
Transform Milwaukee is focusing on restoring economic vitality to the industrial corridor, adjacent neighborhoods, and small business development connecting Milwaukee's 30th Street Industrial Corridor, the Menomonee Valley, the Port of Milwaukee and the Aerotropolis. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is committing $100 million over the next two years. An additional $100 million in private resources will bring the estimated total amount of investment in the first two years to $200 million.
"Overall, total investment surpassed Transform Milwaukee's first-year goal and is 85 percent of the way toward the overall two-year goal. We are laying the groundwork to make Milwaukee an economic powerhouse," said WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston. "The community's enthusiasm for Transform Milwaukee is truly inspiring. The progress we've made so far would not have been possible without the engagement and commitment of our growing list of community partners, state agencies, and the city of Milwaukee. Transform Milwaukee has rapidly picked up speed and the momentum is gratifying."
Examples of WHEDA's funds used in Transform Milwaukee:
- $20,000,000 tax credit allocation for the Global Water Accelerator
- $975,000 multifamily residential financing for the National Avenue Lofts
- $5,500,000 multifamily financing for the Northside Homeowners Initiative
- $1,667,370 mortgage loans for 18 single family homes
- $252,000 expansion financing for Compo Steel Products, Inc.
- $250,000 funding support, in partnership with MMSD, towards the completion of the design engineering on the Flood Mitigation Plan for the 30th Street Corridor
- $141,310 WHEDA Foundation housing grants for seven special needs housing providers
"For nearly a century, Milwaukee equipped and fed the world as a leading manufacturing and food processing center," said Governor Walker. "Transform Milwaukee will rebuild the city's workforce, manufacturing capacity, and inter-modal transportation infrastructure to again make Milwaukee an economic powerhouse. Making one of the largest economic development commitments in the State's history will be central to moving Milwaukee forward."
WHEDA is developing a new suite of economic development financing tools, single family mortgage products, and other investment strategies specifically directed at the Transform Milwaukee initiative. Community partnerships and investments are aggressively being developed in conjunction with public efforts to maximize resources for the effort.
Transform Milwaukee's website, http://www.transformmilwaukee.com, lists new partners, financing resources, and an interactive map of WHEDA financed developments including the WHEDA Foundation Grants, Blight Elimination Grants, and economic development project funding.
Transform Milwaukee was first announced by Governor Walker and Executive Director Winston on April 30, 2012.
WHEDA was created in 1972 by the Wisconsin Legislature that provides low-cost financing for housing, small business, and agricultural development. Over the past 40 years WHEDA has financed more than 68,000 affordable rental units, helped more than 110,000 families purchase their first homes, and made more than 29,000 small business and agricultural loan guarantees. For more information, visit wheda.com or call 1-800-334-6873.