Former Inn to take on new, old look

Built in 1917, the Osceola Inn now houses 21 apartments. Owners Nate and Trina Opatz plan to remodel the building this summer, assisted by a Regional Business Fund loan. Image courtesy ‘Osceola: A Village Chronicle.’

One of downtown Osceola’s historic buildings will soon be improving its curb appeal.

Nate and Trina Opatz, owners of the Osceola Inn apartment building, have begun an extensive remodel of the former hotel that will include replacing the existing windows with larger windows fitting the original framework, tuck-pointing the brick, some landscaping and painting the façade to attempt to match the building’s original color scheme.

To do the work, the Opatzes applied for and received a $30,000 interest free façade renovation loan from the Regional Business Fund, Inc.

The Opatzes have been gradually making improvements to the building since purchasing the building in October 2007, including replacing the heating system, adding wireless Internet service and remodeling the apartments one by one.

Opatz said he and the team of contractors with whom he works have been continually pulling up carpeting and plywood and finding hardwood floors underneath.

“We’ve run across a lot of stuff,” Opatz said.

Tenants of the apartment building have been generally pleased with the remodeling work.

“They look at the apartments when they’re done and the rent is pretty easy to collect,” Opatz said.

The outside windows Opatz plans to install will be lower maintenance than the existing ones and will be more in keeping with the building’s original 1917 look.

The Opatzes intend to remodel the lobby area and the hallways as well over the next two years. Opatz said the building had a bad reputation when he bought it, but that has gradually changed as the tenants have turned over and the remodeling has progressed. About 75 percent of the renters in the Osceola Inn are new, he said.

“It isn’t like it used to be,” Opatz said.

Opatz believes the building will be completely remodeled in five years.

The Opatzes are currently hoping to lease the 1,500-square foot former Gregory’s On Main bar space to a small retail or office-based business.

The Village of Osceola’s former revolving loan fund was merged with the regional fund in 2008. The Regional Business Fund’s website is located at www.rbfinc.org.

The Opatzes own the circa 1913 former New Richmond Hotel in New Richmond.

To learn more about the Opatzes properties visit www.grace-living.com.

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