Sold! RMC site will be apartments

The building that Ripon Medical Center currently inhabits will become apartments after the hospital moves.

Ripon’s aging hospital on Metomen Street soon will transition from providing care for the sick to homes for those in need — particularly homeless veterans.

With the help of more than a half-million dollars in tax credits, the $6 million project will host 40 new residential units on its property.

A quarter of the units at “Newbury Place,” as it will be called, will be earmarked for homeless veterans.

All told, the facility at 933 Metomen St. will include 28 apartments within the existing structure, and another dozen town homes in what are now the parking lots to the north.

Creating the multifamily complex will be Commonwealth Cos. of Fond du Lac, in partnership with ADVOCAP Inc.

Together, they were awarded $522,667 from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

Created by the state Legislature in 1972, WHEDA aims to meet an increasing need for affordable housing by financing such projects through its low-income housing tax credits program, according to its website.

“When the project was written, we were trying to support veterans who were homeless or nearly homeless, so that was part of the application for funds,” said Michael Bonertz, executive director for ADVOCAP.

Receiving the tax credits was a must for this project to move forward, according to City Administrator Lori Rich, who noted the city and Commonwealth Cos. reached a deal last fall.

The council voted 7-0 in closed session at that time to approve the conditional sale. Ald. Al Schraeder was absent.

“We had an offer to purchase that was contingent upon WHEDA awarding this project tax credits,” Rich said. “Now the project can move forward.”

She added the tax credits were “really the only condition on the offer to purchase.”

The sale is expected to close Dec. 15, 2014 — after the hospital is vacated — with the Commonwealth Cos. purchasing the property for $75,000.

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