When a shoe company closed its Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, factory in 2003 the community was forced to decide the fate of the four-story brick building built in 1893 as a cotton mill on a creek emptying into Beaver Dam Lake. With the help of $6 million of LIHTC equity invested by National Equity Fund®, the building is now a 34-unit affordable housing community called Beaver Dam Lake Historic Lofts. Homes are available to households earning between 50-60 percent of Area Median Income.
Preserving the history of the building, the 26 two- and eight three-bedroom apartments feature 14-foot ceilings, oversized windows, exposed brick walls and industrial ductwork, timber beams and round wood columns. The loft apartments incorporate a variety of modern conveniences, such as open kitchens with islands and snack bars, balconies on some units, Energy Star washers and dryers and individually controlled high-efficiency furnaces. Amenities include a community room with kitchenette, communal outdoor patio overlooking Beaver Dam Lake, fitness room, media center and hobby/craft room bringing residents together and completing the re-use of the building.
The development is a partnership between non-profit Impact Seven, which develops affordable housing using a variety of sources of federal funds, and Wisconsin Redevelopment, a two-member real estate development and consulting firm focusing on projects that use low-income and historic tax credits.