YWCA stay

(First published in the May 23, 2019 issue of City Pages)

Under its new owner, the YWCA will stay in its current, historic building, and be joined by professional office spaces



Tom and Dick Holster outside the Wausau YWCA building they bought in April. With partner Luke Muschinske, they’ll remodel the interior into professional office spaces for businesses such as financial planners and accountants.

The historic downtown Wausau building that has been home to the YWCA for 92 years has finally sold, YWCA officials say.

Red Door Ventures, comprised of Dick Holster, son Tom Holster and Luke Muschinske, closed on the building April 30, says Dick Holster, owner of Holster Management and Holster Construction.

The YWCA building had been on the market for about two years, and had entertained a couple of potential offers. One of those possibilities came from the economic development agency MCDEVCO, which now moved its office to the north side and started the GEARS Center co-working space. Another potential use was entertained by the still-in-the-works Marathon County Children’s Museum, which found the structure wouldn’t support its exhibits.

“It was a difficult board decision to sell the building,” YWCA Board President Marty Millerleile said in a statement. “We did so because it was too large for our current programming and we did not want to be in the business of building management.”

The YWCA’s long-time childcare program was discontinued in 2017, resulting in a large amount of unused space the agency needs for its daily operations. The building includes office and conference rooms, and an events hall with a stage.

The YWCA will stay on as renters, occupying space just east of the main entrance on Grant Street. By the end of the summer, it will have its own space and separate entrance.

Beyond that, Red Door Ventures has plans for the building, says Dick Holster. Joining the YWCA space will be professional office space. 

The YWCA will take up about 2,500 square feet of the 18,000 square foot building. After the School District’s lease for its Peer Program is up in June, Red Door plans to remodel the interior into smaller office spaces that could be home to professionals like financial advisors, accountants or architects, Dick Holster says. Holster says his mother was a YWCA member and his sister attended classes there. His goal is to recruit businesses that fit well with the YWCA. “Our primary focus is to keep them there and allow the YWCA to operate the way it has,” Dick Holster says. “We’re not looking to put a night club in there or something.”

Another nearby lot could eventually become a parking lot for the YWCA, Dick Holster says.