Governor Tony Evers Presents Check for Brooke Street Lofts

March 4, 2022

On Thursday, March 3, 2022, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers visited The Commonwealth Companies’ headquarters in Fond du Lac to present a $3.6M check to the City of Fond du Lac and Commonwealth Development Corp. for their upcoming Brooke Street Lofts affordable housing project.

Located on S. Brooke Street, Brooke Street Lofts will be an adaptive reuse of the previous Northern Casket Company and Winnebago Cheese Company buildings. The $19.5M development will consist of 62-units of 1, 2, & 3-bedroom homes for families making at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI). Originally built in 1919, the iconic property is currently listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

“This project has taken seven dedicated years to come to fruition with many hurdles along the way,” said Dyann Benson, Community Development Director, City of Fond du Lac. “We are very grateful to receive the necessary funding for this development and bring these buildings back to life. It was special to have the Governor himself present the grant money after many years of hard work to make this happen.”

Brooke Street Lofts was one of 33 housing projects in Wisconsin to receive federal and state housing tax credit funding following a highly competitive process that drew close to $60M in requests, in which $35.1M was awarded.

“These buildings have deteriorated while sitting vacant for many years,” said Dan Kroetz, Senior Vice President of Development, Commonwealth Development Corporation. “This project is a terrific example of a successful public/private partnership between the municipality and developer. We intend to preserve these historic buildings with the purpose of positively serving the community.”

The visit was part of the statewide tour conducted by Governor Evers’ office to award grants through the Neighborhood Investment Fund Grant program. The program’s funding addresses “the needs of communities through long-term investments and economic recovery projects.” Representatives from the City of Menasha, City of Neenah, and Winnebago County were also in attendance to receive grants for projects in their respective locations which include housing needs, improvements to a local senior care facility, and a comprehensive community redevelopment initiative.

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