Federal developer sees ‘enthusiasm’ for living downtown

By David Skolnick



The 14 apartments at the downtown Federal Building won’t be ready till February, but already there are two commitments to rent and several others interested, its co-owner said.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm; we’re seeing an interest in people wanting to live downtown,” said Dominic L. Gatta III, a partner in The Gatta Co. of Niles, with his father, Dominic L. Gatta Jr.

The company purchased the 108-year-old Federal Building on the northwest corner of West Federal and North Phelps streets for $165,000 in October 2009.

The company is spending $2.4 million to renovate the historical structure. The state will give the company a $445,884 historic- preservation tax credit when the project is done.

The V2 Wine Bar Trattoria, a restaurant to be operated by Vernon Cesta, the owner of Vernon’s Cafe in Niles, will be on the Federal Building’s first floor.

Also on the first floor are three businesses that were tenants before the Gattas purchased the building: Madeline’s Alterations, Bob Barko’s Steeltown Studio and Hootenanny Vintage Guitars. The three are open during construction and will remain after the renovations are done.

The upper three floors will be apartments: seven two-bedroom and seven studios, the younger Gatta said.

The improvement project is expected to be finished by February, he said.

Upon its completion, those renting the apartments can move in, Gatta said.

Monthly rent for the studios, each about 600 square feet in size, ranges from $500 for an apartment on the second floor to $580 for one on the fourth floor. That includes all utilities except electric.

Monthly rent for the two-bedroom apartments, each about 900 square feet in size, ranges from $900 for the second floor to $980 on the fourth floor. That also includes all utilities except electric.

The company has an online apartment application at yofederal.com — the building’s website.

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