Carlton couple renovates historic Cloquet building
Union Lofts, located at 1403 Avenue C, will include 10 apartments and three commercial office spaces.
CLOQUET — After working as general contractors for 25 years, Louise and Clyde Sherman, of Carlton, started their own development company in February 2020.
“We did a lot of projects for others, and it was a dream to do our own. We jumped in!” Louise said.
Through research of the area, the couple discovered a need for single- and multi-family unit housing. They began working with the Cloquet Economic Development Authority with a goal to help solve the housing dilemma.
While shopping for commercial properties, the Shermans came across the historic building at 1403 Avenue C in downtown Cloquet. It was the site of the former Labor Temple—a meeting place for area unions that was originally built in 1953.
Louise is a self-described visionary, but admitted she wasn’t enthusiastic about the project at first. However, Clyde recognized a diamond in the rough; an opportunity to mix commercial space with residential.
“When you look beyond the façade, you can see the structure," Clyde said. "Coming from a construction background, I knew it was a structurally-sound building.”
They had an opportunity to take a 3-D tour of the building prior to purchasing the property in June 2020.
Then the Shermans began their largest project to date. In the demolition stage, they peeled away the layers of the interior to reveal its evolution over three past major renovations.
“There used to be a bar on the main floor, a barber shop, offices for unions, and upstairs was a huge banquet hall,” Clyde said.
Certain elements such as the original brick and steel support beams were left exposed and incorporated into the building's overall design. Inspired by the history of the building, the couple named it Union Lofts.
Once complete, the building will offer 10 executive style high-end apartment units—including a vacation rental—as well as three commercial office spaces. By June 1, the couple anticipates four units will be finished. Promoting Me LLC, and Lathrop Agency, representing American National, are two local business tenants that call the professional office suites home.
Union Lofts is currently leasing for May. Leases include property taxes, building maintenance, water and garbage removal. Rent for the studio apartments is $1,150 per month and $1,500 per month for one-bedroom apartments.
The studio and one-bedroom apartments are designed for people with active lifestyles and include modern comforts, the Shermans said. Each loft comes fully equipped with high-end, luxury finishes and an industrial design. There is also an option to lease fully-furnished lofts, or combine multiple suites to create one larger one based on availability, they said.
The Shermans have three children, ages 16, 15 and 4. When they're not working, they like to renovate their home or spend quality family time fishing on their boat. Louise and Clyde were raised in small towns, and said they naturally fell in love with Cloquet.
“It’s a great community. I think it's underappreciated,” Clyde said.
Visit www.unionloftscloquet.com for more information on apartment layouts, amenities and availability.
IF YOU GO
Join Union Lofts in downtown Cloquet for its open house event on Wednesday, May 4, from 9:30–11:30 a.m. Tour the brand-new studio, one-bedroom and vacation rental lofts and meet the local businesses that call the professional office suites home. Register on the Union Lofts Facebook page prior to the event to be entered into a prize drawing.