WEDC investment to fund historic renovation of Brass Works Apartments

MADISON, WI. June 17, 2019 – The City of Delavan is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help finance the redevelopment of the historic George W. Borg Corporation facility into a new mixed-use apartment building.

The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the renovation and adaptive reuse of an important historic building into the new Brass Works Apartments, located at 820 East Wisconsin Street in Delavan.

“Community success is directly linked to quality services and infrastructure, including access to affordable housing options,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “The Brass Works Apartments is a prime example of how WEDC is helping communities invest in revitalizing their downtowns to encourage economic growth.”

The mixed-use project, which represents a $16 million direct investment, will include 73 loft-style apartments as well as 1,000 square feet of commercial space on the street level. Renovations will include the complete gutting of the building, full structural stabilization and renovation, replacement of historic windows, a new roof and remediation of existing environmental contamination.

“General Capital is grateful to WEDC for its support of the Brass Works Apartments,” said Sig Strautmanis, partner at General Capital, the developer behind the Brass Works project. “This is a very complicated adaptive reuse project with numerous layers of financing. Each piece is critical to bringing this project to fruition.”

The Brass Works Apartments will be located just a short walk from Delavan’s downtown business district and represent the first new multi-family housing to be built in the area. Local officials believe this project will support community revitalization through the direct investment in an underutilized historic resource.

“The City of Delavan has been focused on downtown revitalization for several years,” said Mel Nieuwenhuis, mayor of Delavan. “Each new project adds to the vibrant fabric of our community. In this case, the historic Borg building would have faced an uncertain future without the direct investment of the city and WEDC. We are pleased to see the public and private sectors work so effectively together.”

The 75-year-old industrial building was originally built in 1943, with a third-story addition built in 1956. The building originally housed an armaments factory, which made fuses during World War II.

WEDC’s Community Development Investment 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.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, WEDC has awarded more than $24 million in Community Development Investment Grants to 101 communities for projects expected to generate more than $500 million in capital investments statewide.