Federal building could become artist-style lofts

The Federal Building in downtown Wausau

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Plans to convert Wausau’s Federal Building into 21 artist-style lofts have won preliminary support from a city subcommittee.

The full Historic Preservation committee will decide at 4 p.m. whether to go along with the recommendation to award the project to St. Paul, Minnesota-based MetroPlains. The committee could also choose from two other proposals.

The full City Council may vote on the recommendation next week.

The $4.7 million proposal from MetroPlains would convert the now vacant building into ten one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom apartments with a mix of living and work space.

“The concept of housing designed and marketed to artists, together with common spaces that support gallery, performance and production will result in a facility that has the energy, public appeal, and synergy to be responsive to its very important downtown location,” MetroPlains sad in the executive summary of its 64-page proposal.

Developers would pay for the project with $3.26 million in housing tax credits and federal and state historic tax credits. They also want a $525,000 zero percent deferred interest 30-year loan from the city. The lofts could be available as early as December 2012.

The building was built in 1938 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It used to house a post office and courthouse.


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