Highlands South Apartments placed in service in 2003, was Mr. Miller’s first real estate development. The 62-unit mixed-income property was the first affordable housing development in the upscale Waukesha community in 10 years. Many local real estate observers felt that the only land suitable for multifamily development was unavailable, and that the City Council would not grant discretionary land use approvals for affordable housing.
After six months of difficult negotiations with the owner of the only suitable land, Mr. Miller gained site control of an infill site for which multifamily housing was the recommended use under the City’s Master Plan. He then obtained commitments for HOME and CDBG loans from Waukesha County, brought in a local nonprofit partner and secured the requisite land use approvals. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, recognizing that the stars were aligning, awarded 9% LIHTC to the project. After an eventful but orderly construction effort, the development leased up quickly and has been recognized as a significant asset in the community.