The Meadowlands considered a chronic nuisance property, again

The chronic nuisance declaration for an eastside Madison apartment complex is now extended for at least another six months.
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:43 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The chronic nuisance declaration for an eastside Madison apartment complex is now extended for at least another six months, this after the city’s attorney says problems continue.

The 225-unit apartment complex called The Meadowlands opened one year ago. Rent ranges from $900 to $1,500 per month. The low income housing under Section 42 is owned by KCG Companies out of Indiana. KCG got tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, or WHEDA, to build it.

About a half a year after the complex opened, the city deemed the property a chronic nuisance premise, a property harmful to the community and negatively impacting safety according to the city rules, after arguments turn into full out brawls in the hallways, noise complaints and other disturbances that Madison City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy says disrupts the community at large.

Police calls for service increased, too. In the first quarter of the year, police were called to the property, on average, three times every day. And while police calls dipped down to 36 total in June, Zilavy says they are now on the rise once again.

As of September 8, the city extended the chronic nuisance status which will last at least another six months. Zilavy says KCG has been working cooperatively with the City in an attempt to abate the nuisance, but in order to be taken off chronic nuisance status, there has to be zero “enforcement actions for nuisance activities within a six month period,” and the property has not achieved that.

“In an apartment complex of this size, we do not ever expect to see zero calls for service or no nuisance activity, but we do expect a sustained, and noticeable, reduction in the calls and activity,” says Zilavy.

CEO and Founder of the Progress Center for Black Women Sabrina Madison has taken tenants under her wing--who lived at the problem apartments. Madison says one of her clients feels there is no resolution being made with KCG property managers.

“To solve it is to get them out of there and that’s what it comes down to,” Madison said.

KCG Development Anna Folwell explains they are aware of the ongoing issues in the complex.

“We’ve been working so closely with all of these different factions in Madison, we’re very aware of the nuisance abatement process and the nature of that is that unless we get to a point of having no new activity, that abatement will continue,” Folwell said.

The property management piecing together the issues and concerns of its tenants.

“We see the good, we hear a lot about the quote bad, but what we really want to emphasize is that change doesn’t happen overnight,” Folwell said. “But there are a lot of dedicated people and organizations who are committed to empowering this community.”

Madison mentions the last six months were difficult communicating with KCG.

“We have dealt with some very hard issues and for the most part we are a 90 percent success rate at getting to a resolution. This… no. resolution,” Madison said. “The only resolution was to get out of there because nothing we were doing was working.”

She wants to see more meaningful progress within the months ahead for her clients’ sakes.

Zilavy says the next step is talking with the Madison police captain who heads the east precinct to weigh in on if additional measures will be enacted under the ordinance, which are financially punitive.

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