The building formerly known as the city-owned WeTEC building across West Third Street from Family Dollar is in the midst of a serious facelift.
Wisconsin Lighting, a former WeTEC tenant, purchased the building from the city earlier this year with the promise that the building employ 70 people by 2017 and that the company put at least $150,000 of improvements into the building’s exterior, not including the roof.
Wisconsin Lighting owner Todd Loehr said he is well on his way to fulfilling both promises.
“It’s getting a little more obvious what we’re doing,” Loehr said about the work being done on the building’s facade. “We sanded every brick. It had all become very discolored, and it was a mess. And that completely brings life back to those old bricks. They look amazing now.”
The northwest corner of the building will become the main entrance, and work is underway to make the facade more attractive. Three new windows have been cut into the brick wall, and decorative facade accents are being built.
“Then they’ll start putting the stone up,” Loehr said. “The bottom third of the building will be covered in stone.”
Loehr said he expected the exterior project to be done before any snow falls later this year, and the interior project is expected to be completed by Christmas.
“It’ll be a very old building brought back to life. It should be a very attractive building,” Loehr said. “On the inside, the office spaces will be quite modern. We’re bringing in a lot of glass, and we build lighting, so we’ll do a lot of our own lighting.”
Loehr also is working on bringing in at least 70 employees to the building by leasing space to other companies.
“We’ve got new tenants moving in,” Loehr said. “I expect the building to be almost completely full with all manufacturing companies by I’d say Jan. 1.”