ESCANABA - While the exterior remains unchanged, a dumpster and an orange snowfence along the former Delta Brewery tell a different tale.
Development of the former Delta Brewery into loft-style apartments and retail space is one step closer to reality after developers overcame another financial hurdle.
Matt Sviland, owner of the former Delta Brewery building on Ludington Street in downtown Escanaba, said the final paperwork for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Facade Initiative Grant received in August is now complete. That means a big step forward for the project.
"The Lofts on Ludington project continues to move forward, and we are grateful for invaluable support we have received from (City Manager) Jim O'Toole, (DDA Director) Roger Good and the community," said Sviland.
Working with Sviland on the project is architect Barry Polzin, who is finalizing floor plans for the loft apartments.
"All of the apartments will offer spacious mezzanine levels to be used by residents anyway they choose. The floor plans will be posted on the Lofts on Ludington Web site, www.theloftsonludington.com, upon completion," said Sviland.
Polzin, who is experienced in historic renovation, is also in the process of preparing part two of the application process for the State Historic Preservation Office. Every single architectural element of the building must be documented in order for the building to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sviland said the detail of these plans is crucial so Lofts on Ludington can offer its residents a unique urban living space, which is new to the area.
"This has been a time-consuming process, as each apartment space is unique creating its own assets and challenges," said Sviland.
Polzin is also in the process of developing construction bid packages.
"We will be ready to begin the contractor bids process shortly," said Sviland. "We plan on interior construction to take place throughout the winter months, and at this time we are preparing to temporarily patch the roof to prevent leaking until we are ready to begin work on new roofs in spring."
Sviland is also evaluating alternative energy sources. Preliminary evaluation includes electrical power being generated by solar panels while using geothermal energy to heat and cool the building.
Working with Sviland and the Lofts on Ludington Project is Joanna Wilbee-Amis, of Hob Nob Communications, who is pitching the project to national publications for possible coverage. Accountant Todd LaFave is also involved in the project.
"We are very excited to be moving forward on The Lofts on Ludington project and will continue to share our progress as it develops," said Sviland.