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RACINE, WI – City officials celebrated the construction of Gold Medal Lofts, an $18 million 77-unit apartment complex at 1701 Packard Avenue.

The project includes reconstructing the former Gold Medal Furniture building, which manufactured cots and chairs for the military, and produced director chairs for Hollywood.

Mayor Cory Mason, Josh Jeffers of J. Jeffers & Company, and Dennis Hanson of Lutheran Social Services joined with officials from WHEDA, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with other local officials for a ground breaking ceremony to kick-off the construction phase of the project.

“All of our City’s residents should have access to quality, affordable housing,” said Mayor Cory Mason. “This $18 million investment in the Gold Medal Furniture building will bring new life to a beautiful, but underutilized, historic building.”

The redevelopment is a complete rehabilitation of one the Gold Medal Furniture buildings and is expected to have a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood. WHEDA has awarded $580,000 in federal affordable housing tax credits to the Gold Medal Lofts apartment project. Rehabilitation of one of the buildings will create 77 rental units; 65 are affordable.

“Families will now be able to grow and flourish in affordable living spaces which are literally across the street from some of the city’s largest employers and just a short walk to the shops of Uptown. This is a big win for the neighborhood, and is only possible because of the great partnership we have with Josh Jeffers, Lutheran Social Services, and WHEDA,” Mason said.

Redevelopment of the Gold Medal Furniture building will consist of 77 units of rental housing, 65 units will be affordable.

State and federal historic tax credits will preserve the character of the building.  J. Jeffers & Co. and Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin are developers on the project.

“As a company dedicated to advancing community development and empowerment initiatives through real estate investment, we are incredibly proud and excited for the positive impact Gold Medal Lofts will have on the Uptown Neighborhood and the City of Racine,” said J. Jeffers & Co. President & CEO, Joshua Jeffers.

The project also involved securing $9.5 million in affordable housing credits, which will help revitalize the area.

“Truly, only the best of the best projects receive tax credit awards, like the Gold Medal Lofts,” said WHEDA Board Chairman Ivan Gamboa. “The federal tax credits will help families at different income levels access safe, affordable housing. Twenty-three (23) of the units are three-bedroom which is remarkable since three-bedroom rental units don’t happen all that often in these properties.”

The construction project is expected to be completed within 12 months.

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