FOX47 NEWS - Development for a Better Future

Jeff Angileri
Jul 28, 2008, 9:08 PM

Developers broke ground on Allied Drive's multi-million dollar housing project today. Wearing hard hats and digging with golden shovels, city and state leaders dug for the future.

Every resident in this community, whether black or white, rich or poor, young or old, deserves to live in the same Madison as the rest of us, said Alderman Brian Solomon.

For a neighborhood like Allied Drive, the plans are grand. The city is spending $6 million to purchase and redevelop the area, with the help of $7.5 million in Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority tax grants.

We are also going to have several people employed from this very neighborhood, helping to build this housing right here on the spot, said WHEDA Director, Antonio Riley

Builders, politicians, law enforcement, and residents stood side by side at the demolition site, calling the project a symbol of the neighborhood transformation.

It wasn't so long ago that Allied Drive with about 2,000 - 2,500 residents, consumed about 25 percent of the police resources in the west district, said Mayor David Cieslewicz. That's no where near true today.

Residents say they would also like to see new social programs to go alongside the steel and concrete.

We need educational programs, jobs, everything that has to do with a person's well being, said resident Alice Howard. I want them to bring things for people...build people up, revitalize them from the inside out.

The City of Madison purchased the properties two years ago with the intent to raze and rebuild them. A total of 8 buildings housing 48 apartments will be torn down. People living in the units will be relocated as buildings are demolished. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.

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