WEDC investment to help fund mixed-use development

MADISON, WI. SEPT. 7, 2021 – The City of Waupaca is receiving a $118,000 state grant to assist in the development of a mixed-use project in downtown Waupaca.

The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support renovations for the vacant downtown property to be transformed into commercial space and apartments.

“A vibrant downtown is crucial to a city’s overall economic health and its quality of life, which is why one of WEDC’s top priorities is to support communities throughout the state as they invest in improving their business districts,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “This project not only adds housing to the area but will also serve as a catalyst for future development and investment.”

The property site, 201-203 N. Main St., has been underused and in disrepair for almost 40 years. After renovations, the building will contain two street-level commercial suites and four one-bedroom apartments on the second level.

The City of Waupaca is working with Point Housing for the project, which is expected to be completed in August 2022. The three-phased renovations include building repair, façade enhancement and residential improvements.

Building repair will focus on upgrading the structure’s roof, electrical, plumbing and HVAC system. Facade enhancement will restore the building’s historical character, while residential improvements will restore the original hardwood flooring, add new lighting, appliances, cabinetry and new bathroom fixtures to the second-story apartments.

By restoring the property for residential and commercial use, this project will fill a housing gap, drive new spending downtown, and stimulate further investment along Main Street’s northern reach. Housing with a high walkability score is rare in Waupaca County and this development will provide a new kind of housing that targets young professionals and older adults who may be seeking alternatives to home ownership.

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.

From the program’s inception in 2013 to Sept. 30, 2020, WEDC has awarded nearly $26.7 million in CDI Grants to 87 communities for projects expected to generate more than $446 million in capital investments statewide.