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WEDC aid allows historic renovations to move forward

September 21, 2021
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Project is largest on record for Columbus’ downtown

COLUMBUS, WI. SEPT. 20, 2021 – A trio of properties in Columbus’ Downtown Historic District are being renovated with help from a $250,000 Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

The project, which is the largest downtown renovation on record for Columbus, will renovate three mixed-use buildings with commercial on the ground floor and a total of six apartments above.

“We know that creating housing can bring downtowns to life,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO. “Those residents shop at local businesses, eat at downtown restaurants and contribute to the area’s economy through their work and spending.”

The city of Columbus has been working on a long-term plan to revitalize its downtown and make the historic district a key commercial center for the community. That plan includes adding more housing to the city’s downtown.

“The residents of the City of Columbus strongly support downtown revitalization efforts” said Matt Schreiber, Columbus’ director of planning and development. “Through the completion of a substantial renovation, this project will help with the revitalization efforts in downtown Columbus.”

The renovations are taking place at 101 W. James St., 107 W. James St., and 114-118 N. Ludington St. Work is expected to be completed next summer.

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.

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