UW-Madison Buys House
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of alumni, Wisconsin brothers have a permanent place to call home. This year, they officially staked their claim on a chapter house after years as tenants.
Rex, Ryan Bianucci said, “we were psyched to finally snatch up 132 N. Breese Terrace, and after an enormous amount of outreach and fundraising, our alumni have secured the funds we needed to exercise our buying option.”
“It feels incredible to have a place to call our own for the future.”
How did it come together?
The chapter has been active but hadn’t owned a house since the 90s.
Former chapter advisor, Travis Collings ’09, said there were some challenging times, but the chapter rebuilt and refocused on growth in ’06. That sparked alumni interest.
Ed Kinney ’88 saw the chapter was doing well and had a vision to attain a permanent residence for the brothers. He reconvened a previously dormant house corporation, engaging brothers with similar enthusiasm. They included Dale Mitchell, Brannon Lambert, Mike Whelan, and Isaia Ben-Ami.
Then the brainstorming began. Which comes first? The funding or the property? They found a way to do both. The house corp found a property to lease with an option to buy.
To raise capital, they hired a firm to sell bonds to brothers. They were able to raise $1.6 million, which gave them the flexibility to buy and renovate.
The house, improvements and maintenance
Built in 1930s as a fraternity house, it is located directly behind the football stadium and close to the engineering school. The three story house can house up to 25 brothers. It has two kitchens, a common area, TV room, and a basement for social events.
Renovations include refinishing the floors, painting common areas, replacing old furniture and other sundry repairs. To the chapter’s credit, they kept the house in good condition as renters.
The House Corp hired a property management company for finance, collection, maintenance, upkeep and home improvement. All covered by rent.
Ryan Bianucci said, “The brothers are enormously thankful to the alumni for all the work they’ve put in to not only buy, but improve the house.”
Alumni and undergrads are pleased to once again have a house that they can come back to for years to come.