A $90,000 state grant awarded to the City of Fond du Lac will assist in redeveloping a vacant commercial building into a mixed-use development.
The building, located at 18 E. Division Street, will become The Livery Lofts, featuring an upscale tavern and residential lofts, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). An existing asphalt parking lot will also be redeveloped into a new outdoor dining area for the tavern.
The grant, the Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant will support the renovation to improve the exterior façade as well as the change from a fully commercial use building to a mixed-use building.
Secretary and CEO of WEDC, Mark R. Hogan, says,
“One of WEDC’s top priorities is to help communities invest in revitalizing their downtowns and enhance their business districts.
The Livery Lofts project is the latest example of a positive and substantive local development happening in Fond du Lac and will serve as a foundation for future economic growth.”
According to WEDC, the building was originally built in 1880 as a livery stable, dedicated to horses. The developer assigned to the project, Sam Meyer, plans to incorporate the history of the building into the renovation.
“I’m thankful WEDC believed enough in this revitalization project to provide funding to make it happen. Without the WEDC grant, this project wouldn’t have happened. This project transforms a vacant, blighted commercial building into residential lofts and an entertainment venue that will add to the character of Historic Downtown Fond du Lac,” says Meyer.
Meyer has successfully completed several other historical restoration projects in downtown Fond du Lac including the State Farm Insurance and Red Brick Inn building, the German-American Savings Bank building and the Art Districts Loft building.
Dyann Benson, community development director for the City of Fond du Lac, says,
“The redevelopment of 18 E. Division Street into the Livery Lofts demonstrates how a public-private partnership can take a vacant building, where few people saw its true potential, and give it new life that transforms it into a beautiful building that honors the downtown’s history.”
The Livery Lofts are intended to build off the success of the Hotel Retlaw, another historical redevelopment project nearby.
The Hotel Retlaw plans to open this spring, according to WEDC. It was also supported by a CDI Grant in 2018.
WEDC’s CDI Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.