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Cutlass Motor Lodge is Back to Life as Apartments

The new Cutlass apartments, 25 units carved out of what was once one of the north’s original motor lodges, will be unveiled at an open house on Saturday.

The grand opening comes 17 months after the Antigo Common Council approved the necessary permits for the development by Minneapolis-based Trimac Rentals, made up of a mix of Antigo natives and outside developers, including Korey Stern, Jon Marshalla, Travis Budisalovich and David Dziamarski, who is handling local leasing arrangements.

I love the way that it was built, Dziamarski said during a Wednesday tour of the complex. There were no shortcuts and we followed through with that on how we did the project.

The open house will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a cookout and rental incentives available on the studio, one and two-bedroom units, offering $100 off monthly for those signing six-month leases.

Without the incentives, the apartments will rent for $595 for a one-bedroom and $695 for a two-bedroom unit. The Cutlass offers 15 two-bedroom units with the remainder split between studio and one-bedroom apartments. Two are completely handicapped accessible and all come with fully-equipped kitchens, bathrooms with showers and washer and dryer hookups. There is also a coin-operated laundry on site.

People are very excited about them, because they want something new on the market, Dziamarski said, adding the units are targeted toward new residents, such as teachers and young professionals, as well as those looking for updated apartments and amenities.

The lengthy renovation included demolition of the west portion of the building, which housed the kitchen, lounge and dining area, offices and the swimming pool, which was once among the deepest in the state for a motel.

The total project cost was in excess of $1 million, a bargain compared to brand-new construction.

This building has great bones to start with, Dziamarski said. It looked good from the beginning and it proved itself through the process.’

Apartments will be available on a flexible basis, making them ideal for students enrolled in programs at nearby Northcentral Technical College, limited-time employees and people new to the community, many of Trimac’s other developments have sustained long-term renters.

The Cutlass Motor Lodge opened on Nov. 18, 1966, to great fanfare, hailed by the Antigo Daily Journal in a special section as one of the state’s finest.

It was called Distinctive and sumptuous, with 45,000 square feet of floor space, including 50 guest rooms, a bar and restaurant, and the indoor-outdoor pool, a rarity at the time.

Apparent in every room of the Cutlass is an atmosphere of comfort, beauty, and dignity, the newspaper noted.

The Cutlass survived through changing times in the lodging industry, and even took a stab at the fantasy aspect in the 1980s with the addition of suites replicating everything from an igloo, which Dziamarski said was a true monster to demolish, to a scene from Arabian Nights.

It finally closed, just a shell of its former self, in 2006.

While the bar and pool are gone, the areas are still visible at the west side of the structure, with plans for a gathering place for residents or perhaps some other use. And inside, the Cutlass’ distinctive long hallway, 370 feet long, leads to the rooms.

We didn’t want to see this building go to waste, Dziamarski said. It’s a great part of the history of Antigo.

David Dziamarski stands outside the new Cutlass, renovated into retro-modern apartments. An open house will be held Saturday.

Source: Antigo Daily Journal