An affordable housing project is breathing new life into a 130-year-old school building in Milwaukee. The city's Department of City Development plans to turn the dilapidated building that used to be the McKinley School into apartments for low-income individuals.
The project will give preference to veteran families with two- and three-bedroom units. The developer for the project, Gorman, will also build four single-family homes that will be sold at market rate.
In 2013, there was a fire that caused significant damage to the McKinley School property. Now, the city will utilize a Tax Increment Financing District loan as well as a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to help restore the historic building.
Maria Prioletta and Dave Misky are with the Milwaukee Department of City Development. Misky is looking forward to watching the school transform from a blight to the neighborhood into a point of pride.
"One of the things I'm excited about beyond the affordable housing for veterans is the preservation of a significantly historic building in a neighborhood that could use the investment," Misky said.
Prioletta said veteran housing is a known need in the city of Milwaukee, which is why the project gives preference to that group. She expects many of the units will be leased before the building even opens.