A native to Port Washington, Wisconsin, and a retired New York investment banker, Daniel Ewig, decided to renovate the Boerner Mercantile Building in downtown Port Washington. This created a place for small businesses to grow while preserving the historic building from 1911. J3 Engineering Group and a local architect collaborated to achieve this vision in less time than expected and earned both J3 and the design team an award from the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Over its 103 year history, the building has been through several renovations, but none as extensive as this latest upgrade. To meet current ADA accessibility standards, the building required an installation of a new wheelchair accessible ramp, an elevator conversion, and several new entrances. In addition, J3 coordinated with the architect to help make the building safe, including adding several new entrances and two fire-rated stairs. After cracked and damaged wood beams were discovered, multiple design options were generated to keep cost down and provide a solution that was easy to install.

Prior experience renovating historic buildings was a great asset to the architect who trusted our judgment to complete the project effectively and efficiently. Through our use of Revit, we were able to discover a discrepancy with the existing building floor to floor elevations, which prevented any needed construction modifications. By discovering the error, we eliminated any field issues before they began.

The Boerner Mercantile Building was nominated as one of 17 in southeastern Wisconsin to be selected out of 200 submittals for the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Real Estate Awards. The awards ceremony will take place Thursday, April 10, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee. Look for a special editorial section within the Milwaukee Business Journal on April 11th for the featured project.

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