Two model homes, built on property that was once home for the Wiretech factory in Sturgeon Bay, were open for public tours Tuesday, following a special ribbon cutting ceremony. The homes, at the intersection of Erie Street & North 6th Avenue, are the first in a 17 lot workforce housing development being constructed by V&A of Sturgeon Bay. The parcels will be marketed by Action Realty. Building the model homes is just one step in a 15 year effort to find a place where Wiretech could expand. That happened when the local industry moved to the city’s industrial park. Their former site was transformed into a neighborhood by way of a partnership involving the City of Sturgeon Bay, the Door County Economic Development Corporation, the State Department of Commerce & the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority(WHEDA). John Schultz, director of community development for the state agency, said the project would not have been possible without the cooperative effort of several partners…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/N15671.mp3|titles=John Schultz]
Schultz said the project is a prime example of how to provide workforce housing…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/N1568.mp3|titles=John Schultz]
Schultz was referring to a incentive program offered by the city that will provide a $5,000, 0% interest, forgivable loan to qualified home buyers in the Sunset Hill two development. Bill Chaudoir, who heads up the Door County Economic Development Corporation, said the latest milestone was especially sweet, given the protracted effort to make something happen…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/N1569.mp3|titles=Bill Chaudoir]
Chaudoir says, even in these tough economic times, the development has a lot going for it…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/N1570.mp3|titles=Bill Chaudoir]
Mayor Thad Birmingham focused his remarks on the many people who had played key roles in moving the process along. It was pointed out that Birmingham was one of six mayors who have worked on the Wiretech project over the years, but the break through was made on his watch.