Washington building gets new leaseThe day officials cut the ribbon on the New York Building in 2007, Rob McCready of MetroPlains LLC in the Twin Cities and Kaye Tenerelli, director of the Superior Business Improvement District took a walk.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
The day officials cut the ribbon on the New York Building in 2007, Rob McCready of MetroPlains LLC in the Twin Cities and Kaye Tenerelli, director of the Superior Business Improvement District took a walk.
Two blocks south and across the street, they looked at another historic structure on Tower Avenue in need of renovation. While the building had had apartments in the upper two floors, they have been vacant since 1998.
Two years later, MetroPlains LLC held another ribbon cutting ceremony on its second project in Superior’s downtown.
Now, the building features 23 first class apartments, available to seniors ages 55 and older.
The Washington Building is now home to 14 of the city’s senior residents with space for at least nine more. It also has community space, a beauty salon, exercise space, tenant storage, and direct access to the Superior-Douglas County Senior Center.
“I can remember sitting in the senior center just a few months ago,” said Mayor Dave Ross. “We had a problem – how to go from here to there to here. We literally sat and measured walls and looked at doorway and found a solution right on the spot to make this building part of this whole block.”
Ross noted that MetroPlains has invested nearly $10 million in Superior’s downtown. The company was responsible for the renovation of the New York building, 1402-1412 Tower Ave., finished in 2007.
Rent for the apartments ranges from $300 to $700 for the newly restored 1890 structure. Each features its own heating and cooling controls, a stove, refrigerator, microwave oven, and washer and dryer.
“What a great day,” Tenerelli said. “Even the rain (Wednesday) cannot dampen the excitement and anticipation of the grand opening of this phenomenal building … a new vitality is returning to the core downtown with opportunities for senior citizens to move into beautiful, safe and conveniently located Washington Building.
More than 100 seniors stopped in for Wednesday’s grand opening and a chance to tour some of the unoccupied apartments. Many walked away with applications.
“Oh wow,” one woman said as she toured one of the first floor apartments.
People started to move into the building Sept. 30 with the vast majority of $4.6 million project complete after 10 months. The building opened two months ahead of schedule
During the project, MetroPlains insulated, replaced windows and restored the exterior, re-creating six arches on the front of the building that were part of the original facade. Expansion created a corridor from one end of the building to the other that hadn’t previously existed and expanded the living space.
A second-story courtyard offers a view of the harbor.
“We’re fortunate to be able to work in Superior where city leaders see the value of reinvesting in the downtown,” said McCready. “And we’re fortunate to work with WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Agency) whose policies support this type of redevelopment.”
And company officials know they’re welcome any time.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with you Rob and we can always take that third walk,” Tenerelli said.