Paper Box Lofts

Type: Adaptive Re-use, Historic, Acquisition
Role: Developer, Owner, Manager
Building Space: 72 Affordable Units
Financing: First Mortgage, State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, LIHTC, HOME Funds
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Year Completed

Overview / Details

Now known as Paper Box Lofts, the Milwaukee Paper Box Company Building was originally constructed between 1919 – 1920. Founded by Walter C. Carlson, the company was most known for their ‘fancy paper boxes,’ such as those that would hold chocolate truffles or candy.

In 1920, The Milwaukee Journal published an article highlighting the operations of the company. The article credits Carlson for identifying and meeting the need for creating decorative boxes and was the first to employ an artist to furnish designs for paper boxes. By the time they relocated, the company employed six artists.

Sherman Associates conducted a full-scale historic adaptive reuse, transforming the 70,000 SF building into 72 affordable apartment homes; completed in 2014.

Along with historic details, Paper Box Lofts includes a community room, underground and surface parking, fitness center, business center, and resident storage.

Units feature walk-in closets, spacious floor plans, fully-equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances, central air conditioning, in-unit washer and dryer, and spectacular views of Milwaukee’s downtown. Historically accurate oversized windows create airy and light-filled spaces.

Because Sherman Associates utilized historical tax credits on the project, the building was returned to its former glory, retaining the characteristics and detailing that make it significant.

Awards & Recognition

Wisconsin Apartment Owners and Managers Association- Vintage Building- Paper Box Lofts