Renovation of historic structure in downtown Port not expected to be done until early September
Although work on the Boerner Mercantile Building on North Franklin Street in downtown Port Washington is continuing in earnest, the historic building
isn’t expected to open until September.
Building owner Daniel Ewig said the official opening of the building has been moved from July 1 to Sept. 1 “due to weather and logistics.”
“We apologize to the downtown community for the extended construction schedule,” he said. “There are numerous crews working daily, side-by-side,
including masons, carpenters, steel workers, electricians, plumbers and painters. “In the end, we anticipate the wait will be worthwhile and the building will once again contribute to the downtown economy and history.”
The first-floor windows were slated to arrive and be framed in by late this week, Ewig said, with the rest of the storefront completed by the first week in
The storefront, which will hearken back to the building’s history, will feature custom-molded cast-iron columns and cornice. The entrance will be moved
to the center of the first floor, and retractable awnings will be installed over the storefront windows.
Inside, the building’s original maple floors and pine tongue-and-groove ceilings have been restored and the brick walls exposed.
Ewig said he has signed leases with tenants for the north half of the first floor and for the second floor, known as Boerner Mercantile Studios, where
there will be office suites with some shared services, such as a receptionist and conference room.
He declined to identify these tenants.
“The only space we’re actively looking to fill at the moment is the south half of the first floor,” Ewig said.
Tenants on the second floor may move into the building prior to the Sept. 1 opening, he added.
The third floor of the building is being renovated as one large space, with the intention that one tenant will occupy it, according to renovation plans
approved last year.
Work is also progressing on two parking lots for the building — one directly to the west and the other on Washington Street, where crews tore down the
former M&I drive-through last week.
Improvements to the alleys north and west of the building are also being made as part of the project.
The 24,000-square-foot building at 211 N. Franklin St. — the former Lueptow’s Furniture, which closed in spring 2007 — was purchased by Ewig, a
New York financial executive, and his wife Marie-Anne last summer.
The couple announced then they would restore the building to its 1911 look, stripping off a facade installed in 1969 and returning the structure to the
look it had a century ago when it was the Boerner Department Store.
Image Information: THE RENOVATION OF the Boerner Mercantile Building on Franklin Street in downtown Port Washington was expected to open on July 1, but the opening has been delayed until Sept. 1 because of weather and logistics, building owner Dan Ewig said. Photo by Bill Schanen IV