Wausau Federal Building Transformed into Loft-Style Apartments

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

From the outside it's hard to tell, but the Federal Building in downtown Wausau has been transformed from federal offices into loft-style apartments.

Those involved were careful to preserve the Art Deco building's rich history, while infusing new life for a new crowd.

Built in 1937, the Federal Building has served many purposes, including a post office, a federal courtroom, and offices for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dept. of Labor.

But for the last several years, it's been vacant.

"There was a committee formed that worked with our landmarks commission in order to preserve the history of the building and also give it a new life in the downtown area," said Ann Werth, the city's director of community development.

What's inside the building is a total transformation, with several original features still intact.

Each of the 21 apartments are different, with different floor plans and rent costs. Some have original features, like part of a jail cell and the door from a vault used by the FBI.

"Then there are additional pieces of historical fabric, as we refer to them, which are small details such as the marble work," said Randy Schold, a partner of MetroPlains, the real estate development company out of Minneapolis in charge of renovations.

Schold says they've been careful to preserve those features.

Now the company and the city hope to attract artists and musicians, who can use the building's public spaces, like the courtroom, for art shows or recitals.

"We need to increase our creative class in the area," Werth said.

But you don't need to be an artist to live in one of the one, two or three bedroom apartments. Rent ranges from $325 to the upper $700s a month.

Eighteen of the apartments are for low and moderate income tenants, and three of the apartments rent at market rate.

Property management is now accepting applications and can be reached at 715-843-7799.

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