Hundreds attend open house at PdC’s Lawler School Lofts

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This is just one small group out of the hundreds who toured three apartments during an open house at Lawler School Lofts Saturday afternoon in Prairie du Chien.


By Ted Pennekamp


Hundreds of people toured three nearly completed apartments during an open house Saturday afternoon at Lawler School Lofts, 601 S. Beaumont Road, Prairie du Chien. 

“We have 40 affordable apartments,” said Property Manager Michelle Walleser, who was helping to give guided tours of one two-bedroom apartment on the first floor and two three-bedroom units on the second floor. The apartments will be a mixture of two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.

Walleser said 15 apartments have been rented so far, but construction continues on the former Wyalusing Academy building. She said it is not yet known when the project will be completed, but it is expected to be done in 2018.

Walleser also said there will be two sets of move-in dates for the renters. Twenty-one renters will move in on the first move-in date and 19 will move in on the second. She said the building will need to get a certificate of occupancy from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before anyone can move in, and it is not yet known when that will happen. Walleser said some construction will still be underway after the first 21 renters are moved in. Construction will be limited to Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during that time.

The spacious apartments are all of different shapes and sizes, but all have high ceilings, historic windows and nice views. They also feature large kitchen counters with built-in dishwashers, relatively large living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms with washers and dryers. The three-bedroom apartments will have two bathrooms, including a master bathroom, most of which are right off of the master bedroom. 

Lawler School Lofts is a historic preservation and reuse project. Hardwood floors will be refinished and the preservation of historic woodwork will keep the historic integrity of the 80,000-square-foot building, while providing nice apartments for the residents to enjoy. 

Commonwealth Development, headquartered in Fond du Lac, is the owner and developer of the property. Commonwealth is utilizing both federal and state historic tax credits, and without both of those resources, the project would not be feasible. The exterior of the building will keep its historic look, as will much of the interior.

In addition to apartments, Lawler School Lofts will have an exercise room, business center, tenant storage, community room and an on-site property management office. The building will retain its historic look, yet will have modern amenities. A 31-car garage has been built behind the apartment complex and was part of the open house on Saturday.

Construction on the $8.7 million project began in late August of 2017 and the project is expected to be completed sometime this year.

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