Plan Commission Approves Concept for Affordable Housing Apartment Building

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By: 
Cameron Bren

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Plan Commission approved the conceptual plan and set a public hearing for rezoning for a proposed four-story, 37 unit apartment building at the site of the now closed Sonic fast food restaurant 6413 University Ave. 

The project is being proposed The Commonwealth Companies. Kevin McDonell from Commonwealth said they are the seventh largest affordable housing developer nationwide.

McDonell explained the company in vertically integrated with in house architects, construction and property management.

McDonell said Commonwealth developments are mostly in Wisconsin but they have properties in 14 other states as well with 5,850 units altogether in nearly 100 properties.

The University Avenue proposal would consist of 37 units at market rate and affordable apartments in a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Thirty-one of the units would be affordable while the remaining would be market rate. 

The units would be two stories each and include seven ground floor individual entry units.

McDonell said the architect participated in a district meeting but not many people attended the event. He said so far they have not had a lot of contact with neighbors but plan to reach out.

Plan Commission member Kurt Paulsen asked if Commonwealth would apply for WHEDA tax credits for 31 affordable units. McDonell said that was the plan.

Paulsen said he would like to see a site plan that showed the development within the surrounding buildings the next time it is presented.

Paulsen said he likes how the building would be close to street with parking in the rear.

Mayor Brar encouraged McDonell to work with the neighbors, pointing out how neighbors impacted the ADDI, a proposed four-story apartment that was limited to three stories after neighbor outcry.

Plan Commission member Michael Slavish asked if the company considered purchasing the closed Chicken Run restaurant. McDonell said they considered it but there is an easement that would make the properties hard to conjoin.

The public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 26 at 7:15 p.m.

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