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Art and Resource Community Hub (ARCH) Loan Program 


What is the ARCH Loan Program?

The ARCH Loan Programs provides matching loans of up to $25,000 to buyers of City-owned tax foreclosed properties that will be used for art related uses or as community resources centers. The program is intended for uses that are generally available for the public.

New construction on vacant land, residential properties, commerical properties and mixed-use commercial properties are eligible for the program.

Basic loan terms:

  • 0% interest
  • Loan must be used for new construction or property renovation
  • Must be matched on a dollar for dollar basis by buyer
  • May be forgiven over a five year period, as long as the buyer continues to own the property and maintains the use committed to in application to the ARCH program


How do I apply? 


  • Create a conceptual plan for your project.
  • Do you want to create a space for art related uses?
  • Do you want to create a community resource center?
  • This information will help you determine the amount of space, the type of property and the financial resources you will need to move your project forward.

Resources that can help you to start your business plan


  • Contact any Wisconsin Licensed Real Estate Broker to assist you in identifying a property for your project and assist you in the purchase process.
  • As you are looking at properties, we encourage you to evaluate the rehabilitation needs and costs for your project. Prepare a scope of work for needed repairs, renovations and improvements.  You can also secure bids from contractors to determine the exact cost of your project.
  • City of Milwaukee Real Estate website

Commerical Real Estate Buyer Instructions


  • Submit your offer to purchase to the City Real Estate Department
  • Include your rehabilitation plan (scope of work, your bid(s) from your selected contractor, your budget and all preliminary financial commitments, or bank statements, that will demonstrate that you are in the process of securing funding to make your project financially successful)
  • After your application has been reviewed by the City Real Estate Department, and everything seems financially feasible, they will provide you with the next steps.
  • Requirements for each project and each property will vary. Buyers should schedule a meeting with the Department of Neighborhood Services Development Center to understand the specific building and zoning code requirements for your chosen project in your chosen property.


  • After your file has been fully reviewed by the City Real Estate Department, and it is determined that your project fits within the ARCH Loan Program requirements, submit your ARCH Loan Program application and rehab plan.
  • Your ARCH Loan Program application and rehab plan will be reviewed by a loan officer at the Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (NIDC).
  • After financial feasibility review, your loan officer will present your application before an Administrative Review Committee for approval consideration.
  • Once approved, a letter will be sent to you confirming reservation of funds for a period of 6 months.
  • As the buyer, you are responsible to complete the process of securing all needed financial commitments, permit/zoning/licensing approvals and all final approvals associated with the purchase of your property.
  • Once you have secured all final approvals submit these to your loan officer at NIDC. 


  • The ARCH program requires that your rehab project is completed within 180 days of closing.

Additional Resources:

Office of Small Business Development

City of Milwaukee licensing division

City of Milwaukee permit and development center

Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

Marquette Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic

Milwaukee’s Business Toolbox


The City of Milwaukee may have other programs available if the ARCH Loan Program does not fit your current business plan. Please contact the Commercial Corridor Team at (414) 286-8201

If you have additional ARCH Loan Program questions, please contact Benjamin Sanchez at [email protected]

APPLY- ARCH Loan Program Application

Learn About MKE Projects

Check out what other artists and community leaders are doing with their ARCH Projects                                                                                         


See What Other Cities Are Doing 

This isn't just being done in Milwaukee! See what other people around the country are doing. Who knows, it might inspire you to do something here in Milwaukee!




Contact Us

  Email NIDC



 809 North Broadway, 3rd Floor , Milwaukee, WI 53202

 Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

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