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The Opera House Complex Expands

STEVENS POINT, WI – The Opera House, LLC has officially announced the acquisition of an additional historic building in downtown Stevens Point. The newly acquired building, located at 1136 Main St. Stevens Point, neighbors the existing theater building to the east.

The Opera House, LLC plans to combine the existing theater building with the neighboring building by constructing interior passageways between the two structures. The combination of the two buildings will ultimately expand the square footage of the Opera House Complex by nearly three times it’s original floor space.

The Opera House’s new addition is located at 1136 Main St. in downtown Stevens Point and has been standing for nearly as long as the theater itself. The building was constructed in 1899-1900 by Curran and Wiesner. The U.S. Post Office occupied the building from 1901-1913, and then it served as the second home of Gross and Jacobs Hardware Store, owned by Nick Gross and Peter (P.J.) Jacobs. Most recently in its history, Book World, a bookstore, operated out of the building from 1979 to 2018. Book World closed in January 2018 and the building was purchased later that year by Wildcard Corp, a local technology company, and was remodeled for use as a multi-purpose work space to accommodate their growing company.

Wildcard Corp. has occupied four different office spaces in the downtown area since 2011, with each new space being fully updated to service the needs of a major technology company. After purchasing the building at 1136 Main Street, Wildcard Corp. gave the building a full overhaul, uncovering many of the original historic elements and revitalizing both the interior and exterior of the building.

The focus of the remodel was to revitalize many of the original elements of the building while also incorporating modern amenities that would make the building a functional space for the modern day. With care and hard work, these original elements have been uncovered and restored to their former glory. The most stunning of the original features include a pressed metal ceiling, exposed red city brick walls, aged pinewood shiplap, bricked-over window wells that have been reopened, hardwood maple floors, and a large atrium and skylight that opens down to the first floor. Some of the new installations include brand new electrical wiring, modern plumbing, a new HVAC system, and high speed internet cabling installed throughout. Technology upgrades include the installation of smart building technology, featuring Smartbuilding lighting, SONOS sound systems and HVAC automation.

Since purchasing the building at 1136 Main Street, Wildcard Corp. has since acquired and moved into another office building in the downtown area, located at 1300 College Court. Wildcard Corp. administration has since been considering best use cases for the building, including transferring ownership of the property to the Opera House, LLC.

Erin Batzler, Corporate Brand Representative for the Opera House, LLC explains, “The additional building space will really expand the Opera House’s venue offerings and give the complex the ability to host much larger events and even multiple events at once, and that will improve the long-term viability of The Opera House as a private business.”

Batzler went on to describe how the new floor plan combining the buildings will include passages on both the first and second floors, providing both buildings with second floor elevator access, making them fully wheelchair accessible for the first time in their history.

Meanwhile, work is still underway on the main section of the Opera House, at 1124 Main Street. The Opera House, LLC and Wildcard Corp. support staff are currently working with Mudrovich Architects and JPF Engineering on finalizing the interior floor plans for the original theater building. Once the floor plans are complete and approved by the State of Wisconsin DSPS, then new construction can begin on the interior of that structure. Completion is still a long way off for the main section of The Opera House Complex, but in the mean time, plans to host events in their new building are already underway.

Blog post copied with permission from The Opera House, LLC website