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How Has Adaptive Resource Construction Preserved Milwaukee’s Historic Underwriters Exchange Building?

Adaptive resource construction is the process of taking aged materials and repurposing them. Adaptive resource construction allows the legacy of iconic structures to endure the test of time, rather than be torn down and lost forever.
The historic Underwriters Exchange Building, for example, is a former office building being renovated into an apartment community. Thanks to Paul Dincin of Catapult Real Estate Solutions, the Underwriters Exchange Building’s story will be passed on for years to come.
If you’re not from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you’re probably wondering; what is the Underwriters Exchange Building, and why is it significant?

Why Was the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Underwriters Exchange Building Constructed?

The Underwriters Exchange Building is a nine story brick building designed by architect Rosman & Wierdsma and built by Robert L. Reisinger & Co. in 1923. Construction was finished in 1924, and additions were made in 1926.
Insurance exchange buildings were popping up across the country, starting with Chicago, Illinois, in 1912, San Francisco, California, in 1913, and followed by Des Moines, Iowa, and Boston, Massachusetts, in 1923. The vision was to have numerous insurance companies in the same building and compartmentalize the insurance industry’s business interests.

Was the Milwaukee Underwriters Exchange Building a Success?

Over 40 local firms (representing nation-wide entities) leased suites before it opened. While it is a nine-story building, it was designed as a seven-story building. An additional story was added during construction because so many insurance firms inquired about relocating to the building. The 1926 addition mentioned earlier was the partial ninth floor simple to meet the request for more office space.
The Underwriters Exchange Building endured as the insurance center through the 1950s. The number of insurance tenants significantly decreased by the 1960s, however, and the building was renamed the Association of Commerce Building as the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce was now the largest tenant.

What is to Come for the Association of Commerce Building?

Chicago-based developer Paul Dincin of Catapult Real Estate Solutions purchased the building in April 2018. The office building is undergoing renovations to serve Cream City citizens as an apartment community.
The apartment community (Streetcar Flats) will tell the Association of Commerce Building’s tales for generations thanks to adaptive resource construction. Streetcar Flats residents will be a part of something larger than themselves while enjoying life in the heart of Downtown Milwaukee and direct access to The Hop right out front.
Adaptive resource construction is a terrific method of preserving historical landmarks and structures. Continue reading about adaptive resource construction, and head to our blog to learn more about living in Downtown Milwaukee and Streetcar Flats‘ ideal location!

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About Streetcar Flats

Streetcar Flats is Downtown Milwaukee’s Newest apartment community located at 828 N Broadway. Streetcar Flats incorporates modern luxuries with the vintage charm of our hundred-year-old landmark building. What was once the Underwriter’s Exchange Building is now Streetcar Flats, your future home in Downtown Milwaukee, perfectly located along The Hop’s M-Line, Milwaukee’s new streetcar system. 

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Rental Criteria

One Adult – Gross income must meet or exceed 3 times the apartment rental rate. Roommates – The combined gross income must meet or exceed 3 times the apartment rental rate. If you are self-employed or retired, you must provide your most recent tax filing or consecutive bank statements from the past six (6) months to verify your income.

Your credit score must meet or exceed six hundred fifty (650). You will automatically be denied rental if any monies are owed to a previous landlord or management company. If you owned a home and it has been foreclosed upon, you will be denied rental. If you have been sued in an attempt to obtain a monetary judgment against you within the last five (5) years you will be denied rental. If you have a monetary judgment against you that is older than five (5) years you must have legally satisfied that judgment or you will be denied rental.

A verifiable history of apartment rental or mortgage payments. If there is no verifiable housing and you are a first-time renter, a Guarantor will be required, along with a security deposit of one (1) month’s rent. Any previous eviction judgment is an automatic basis for rejection of an application. Any negative reference from a prior landlord will cause you to be denied rental.

OCCUPANCY STANDARDS Maximum limits are as follows:

  • Studio: 2 individuals maximum
  • 1 Bedroom: 2 individuals maximum
  • 2 Bedroom: Not to exceed 4 individuals with no more than 3 unrelated adults
  • 3 Bedroom: Not to exceed 6 individuals with no more than 3 unrelated adults o
    • Children under the age of 2 are not included in the calculation


Should an applicant not qualify in terms of credit history, the applicant, at the discretion of the landlord, may have the lease guaranteed by another party. Guarantor(s) must meet or exceed the rental criteria as stated above.

Each Guarantor must provide sufficient income verification equal to three (3) times the amount of the rent to guarantee the apartment rental.

If applicant has been convicted of illegally manufacturing or distributing a controlled substance as defined in sec. 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802) their application will be denied.

If applicant is subject to a state lifetime sex offender registration program their application will be denied.

If applicant has not been otherwise disqualified based on the above factors, and the applicant has been convicted of a felony or released from custody or supervision for a felony conviction, whichever occurred later, within the last six years, or a misdemeanor within the last three years, and the crime shows a demonstrable risk to tenant safety and/or property, their application may be denied after consideration of the nature and severity of the crime, the applicant’s age at the time of the conduct, and the amount of time that has passed since the criminal conduct occurred. Other factors may be considered on a case by case basis. Applicant shall provide any mitigating information or documentation that he or she would like to be considered regarding any criminal convictions.

*If management is unable to verify any information on your rental application, including but not limited to your prior rental history and employment, you will be denied rental. If you misrepresent your application information, you will be denied rental.

Date Started Using: May 16, 2023