‘We look forward to becoming good neighbors’: Workforce housing complex approved in Middleton

The city of Middleton has given an apartment complex tackling social equity and affordable living the final go-ahead.

The Common Council on Tuesday evening approved “The ADDI,” a 39-unit, 3-story apartment building planned across the street from the Willy Street Co-op on University Avenue.

After a Middleton common council vote, it’s official: The ADDI, a development that aims to provide more affordable housing in a way that works toward social justice as well, has the green light. #news3now @WISCTV_News3 pic.twitter.com/CsGp49RaxX

— Madalyn O’Neill (@news3madalyn) October 16, 2019

“I think being the good neighbor city, we can live up to that and be proud of new development, and also, I want anyone who lives at the ADDI to take pride in the neighborhood,” Alder Katy Nelson said when speaking in support of the development.

Project developer Anthony Gray said the complex would be labeled “workforce housing,” with 20 units classified as affordable housing and five designed for people with physical disabilities.

The project had faced controversy before getting to this point. In February, the city had to compromise with area neighbors to convert the plan from a four-story complex to a three-story one.

Alders praised residents at Monday night’s meeting for agreeing to compromise. Several residents spoke in favor of the development and making housing more affordable for those who live and work in the city.

Gray said beyond building apartments, he’s striving for social justice. Throughout the building process, he will be offering five to seven people of color a chance to audit the development and learn how to do it themselves.

He said as far as he knows, he’s one of the only African-American developers in the area.

“I feel great. I really do,” Gray said. “It’s really good to be in this position and I’m hopeful, notwithstanding the difficulties we face, that it will inspire other people of color to engage. To take that plunge, to make, take the risk of stabilizing their own communities.”

Gray said he’d like to begin construction as soon as possible.

“We look forward to becoming good neighbors,” he said after the council vote.

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