After more than a year of renovation, Al Ruckriegel and David Adams have converted a 100-plus-year-old historic building, once used as a garage for the former Terre Haute House, into new luxury apartments in downtown Terre Haute.
Haute House Flats, at 119 S. 7th St., are directly across from the Lofts of Haute Maison, another luxury apartment project the two opened in 2017. They also renovated the Ohio Building, now leased by Sycamore Winery, and own Skygarden Parking Garage.
The development includes one single-bedroom flat, two two-bedroom flats and one three-bedroom flat.
The three-bedroom flat has a Jack and Jill set up with a connecting bathroom. It is also the only flat with two levels, including a rooftop hot tub. The flats range from 1,100 square feet to 2,800 square feet.
Rent ranges from $2,200 to $3,600 per month, with water and sewer included. Flats are accessed with electronic locks with a key fob, and each has a video system to view visitors and unlock the main entrance, located in an alley on the building’s north side. That alley also has overhead lights and security cameras.
Each flat has full-size stackable front-loaded washer and dryer. The bathrooms have large showers and separate bath tub, and each room has large walk-in closets. Also, each flat has access to a workout room, which also contains a hot tub. That room is also accessible to tenants of Haute Maison.
“The reason we did it is because of the Lofts of Haute Maison, and we wanted to improve this area, too. We also purchased the three smaller buildings to the south and that helped us with parking in the back for these tenants,” Ruckriegel said. Tenants each get one designated parking space.
All the walls in each flat are white with black trim and face board. “It is a New York loft look,” Ruckriegel said.
As for the three smaller buildings, renovation work will start on those in the summer for use as commercial/retail space, Adams said.
Additionally, a 2,200-square foot section that faces 7th Street is being renovated now for commercial use.
The 12,000-square-foot, two-story building built in 1901 has large exposed Carnegie-stamped steel beams, painted black on the first level, then simply coated in polyurethane on the second level.
New hickory wood flooring flows throughout the flats, with brick walls, for a modern industrial look. Art work from Al and David’s personal collection adorn hallway walls, such as framed photos of the Indianapolis 500, a 1943 photo of a parade in downtown Terre Haute and an Iztchak Tarkay “Small Talk” painting of four women chatting. Tarkay (1935 to 2012) was an Israeli painter known for his Post-Impressionist portraits done in watercolor and acrylic.
Additionally, an art installation includes reclaimed freight elevator parts in a piece designed by Benjamin Delnat in the foyer of the flats, Adams said.
Two large flywheels in that artwork were part of an elevator where buggies were converted into motorized horseless carriages. The building later housed Terre Haute’s first auto dealer, John S. Cox, who operated the Terre Haute Automobile Co. It also served as a parking garage for the former Terre Haute House, where the Haute House Flats derived its name.
Part of the elevator’s gate grate is also used in the three-bedroom flat, against a second floor staircase.
Work began on the renovation in November 2019 and a certificate of occupancy was issued the week of Jan. 4, Adams said. The building includes an office for both the flats and next door lofts, as well as for SERVUS!
Ruckriegel is president of SERVUS!, a corporation formed in June 1971, based in Jasper. That corporation now has moved away from being a restaurant franchiser to owning land.
“We used to own restaurants, but now we are landlords for a lot of restaurants,” Ruckriegel said. “We sold Long Johns a couple years ago. We sold them all during COVID-19 in a 16-month period, but we are still the landlord in four different states. We own the buildings and the land.”