At the 800 block of 6th Street South near downtown La Crosse, it was not a typical housewarming party for four families.
The two single family homes and twin home unit were part of a block-wide revitalization project by the city.
“That’s really what our program is all about. Everything from the police and our roads, to code enforcement, to housing, to infrastructure, is to make these neighborhoods a desirable place where people of all different backgrounds will want to choose to live,” said La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat.
Several different agencies played a part, but it started with the city four years ago.
In 2015 the city purchased six homes on the block for just under $450,000.
Those six homes were beyond repair and after they were demolished and new homes took their place, they are now worth over $930,000 in total.
“Spies construction answered the call, and they’re the developers who built this. But it also comes with some assistance from La Crosse County and several of the homeowners are able to take advantage of the La Crosse Promise scholarship program,” said Kabat.
Chris and Danelle Larson, along with their two daughters and a son on the way, are La Crosse’s newest residents.
“When we looked back in March to buy a home in La Crosse it was 2×4’s inside and I was nervous,” Danelle said with a laugh. “But I got a tour of the neighbors houses and it was just gorgeous.”
Along with the physical house, Danelle says it was the location and the opportunity to be apart of city programs like La Crosse Promise that turned the house into their home.
This was the first time the city had completed a housing revitalization project of this many houses in the same area.
Usually the city works on only one or two houses at a time.