FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON JULY 31st, 2006
Central-city brownfield to boost business; Wisconsin’s
first minority-owned bank begins $1.5 million expansion
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett today led a ‘dig gig’ on a central-city brownfield that will become the site of Columbia Savings & Loan’s $1.5 million expansion project. The event took place yards away from the bank’s current location, 2000 W. Fond du Lac Ave.
Columbia Savings & Loan is Wisconsin’s oldest minority-owned lending institution, established in 1924 by Ardie and Wilbur Halyard to provide mortgage loans to Milwaukee’s African American community. Columbia’s first home was in the original Bronzeville. One of Columbia’s most notable lending projects is Halyard Park, a central city subdivision.
Columbia Savings & Loan purchased two vacant lots from the City of Milwaukee that are adjacent to its current location. The Department of City Development Brownfields Team secured more than $200,000 in federal and state grants to help clean up the site.
The ‘dig’ ceremony launched the construction of Columbia’s new 10,000 square foot facility. The business expansion will add 10 new jobs and enable the bank to add additional services, including consumer and business loans. Columbia’s expansion was identified by a community panel as a catalytic project in the Fondy & North Comprehensive Area Plan, which is a blueprint for the redevelopment in this area of Milwaukee’s central city.