Century-old Schuette Building opens first store ahead of full revival

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A longtime staple of Manitowoc is being resurrected for a new generation. The Schuette Building is inching its way toward completion and businesses are starting to move in.

“We’ve been waiting for months and months, but the wait has been definitely worth it,” said Natalie Hamilton, owner of Graced.

It first opened in 1902. And after some time off, it’s ready for another grand opening in 2020.

“We’re excited to finally reopen our doors for our customers that have stuck with us through this time of transition and also welcome in a whole new crowd of customers,” she said.

At one point, the Schuette Department store breathed life into Manitowoc. And now, the century-old building is back with room for 17 apartments and 5 stores.

“Really wanted to see something happen here,” said Anton Doneff, owner of the Schuette Building. “And we decided to jump in and buy the building and make it happen.”

At one point, it was the nation’s oldest family-run department store. It closed in 1994 and was never again fully occupied until now.

“It took a long time to put everything together and make a viable project and a key component of that was the financing,” he said.

Money for the $7.5 million project came from a variety of sources, such as state and federal historic tax credits. And it was all needed in order to perfectly blend the past with the present.

“Walking through the building, seeing the exposed brick, the high tin ceilings, the preserved hardwood floors,” said Doneff. “All those historic elements that people really appreciate.”

The grand opening for the first store in the Schuette Building, Graced boutique, is Saturday, January 11th at 10am.

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