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Elementary school becomes apartment building downtown
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Elementary school becomes apartment building downtown

From the Top 10 stories of October 2019 series
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Redeveloping a 118-year-old formerly elementary school into a luxury-apartment building wasn’t the biggest project of Ryan Douglas’ real estate career.

It was, however, the most daunting.

Weiskopf Lofts, a 14-unit apartment complex located off Sheridan Road on 812 50th St., will hold its open house from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 30. The event includes food, drinks, games, prizes and an appearance by Mayor John Antaramian.

The project began in October 2018, marking the start of a year-long labor of love for Douglas, president of Land-Quest Realty LLC.

“The path to getting there was long and difficult, but we’re excited with the end result,” Douglas said. “We’re excited how it all came together. We think everyone is going to love it. It’s a unique building. It’s not your regular cookie-cutter type. There’s a lot of character to these units.”

Units range from 775-square foot one-bedroom rentals to 1,660-square foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom layouts. On-site parking is available for 24 vehicles (16 indoor, eight outdoor). Monthly lease pricing is still being determined based on comparable units, according to Douglas.

Weiskopf Lofts is one of several residential complexes being built throughout Kenosha in an attempt to address a local housing shortage. It is located two blocks north of Mayor John Antaramian’s proposed $400 million Downtown Vision Project, a massive, eight-square block (25 acres) redevelopment to include a new city hall, performing arts center, public park and hundreds of private residences.

“We’re ecstatic to be a part of the overall Downtown Vision,” Douglas said. “The biggest drive to do this development is that we knew it was an important historical project for Kenosha. We wanted to preserve it. Our desire was to maintain the integrity of the structure.”

Douglas said there was nothing easy about converting the 11,000-square foot building into 14 residential units.

“It took a lot of architectural and civil engineering work to make the building function properly,” Douglas said. “The place is built like Fort Knox. It took forever for demolition. We had to move large walls. Nothing laid out easily. It was more of a design build than what we were imaging.”

The Weiskopf School was named in honor of Kenosha’s Dr. Anthony Weiskopf.

The school was built in 1901 and opened in September 1902, according to the Kenosha Historical Society. The formal dedication of the Weiskopf School was Jan. 30, 1903.

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