Developer: Lows Point will contain retail on main floor, 10 nice apartments upstairs


The Lows building, now the development called Lows Point, at 708 Lincoln Way. (Photo provided)

Lows Clothing (center), circa 1940s. (Photo provided)

The first floor still contains shelves and counters from the Lows business. (Photo provided)

Story by WNLP’s Beth Boardman

(Click photos to enlarge) 

It started as Cohen and Low Furnishing and Goods in the 1870s, then was a downtown staple as Lows Clothing until the late 20th century. Under new ownership after that, it became It’s a Wonderful Life Antiques, then sat full of those antiques for years after closing. Recently the antiques were auctioned and the building stood empty. Now the old place has a brand new future.


Tommy Viere, president of Material Architecture Corporation in Chicago, spotted the Lows building at 708 Lincoln Way during one of his visits to friends who live in the area. As an architect/designer/builder whose family owns and operates more than 900 apartment units, Viere is drawn to such sites.

“My family and I specialize in renovating distressed, value-add, multi-family real estate throughout Chicago, neighboring suburbs and northwest Indiana,” he told WNLP.

Viere likes the building’s historic background, “and the ability to preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations attracted me. This development harnesses all the abilities and knowledge that I have developed throughout my career.”

As the Lows Point development, the building will contain business on the main floor (retail has not yet been retained, but Viere is marketing the site locally and nationally). The upper floors will consist of 10 upscale apartments, “most with exterior decks and covered parking,” Viere said. “Additionally there will be in-unit laundry, heat and A/C, interior light wells, and full amenities (dishware, microwave, etc.).

A light well on an upper floor. (Photo provided)

“The apartments will be upscale in style with a historic charm,” he continued. “Rents are currently scheduled between $850 to $1,050 depending on the apartment’s size (1-bed to 2-bed units) and location.”

Viere plans to have the building ready for retail this coming winter and for residents in winter 2022. He noted there is already great interest in the apartments.

“We have had to develop a waiting list due to current demand inquiries,” he told WNLP.
While Viere and his wife currently live in Chicago, “we’re patiently waiting for the right opportunity to move into the La Porte community.”

The community is another reason he decided to develop the Lows site.

“Everyone is friendly and helpful!” he raved. “The lakes and parks! The trails and bike paths! The historic downtown – the architecture is beautiful!

The business started as Cohen & Low. (Photo provided)

“You can tell by driving and walking around that everyone in La Porte takes great pride in where they live – the streets and yards are clean, the area is safe and American flags are everywhere!”
He added that city leaders have been enthusiastic and helpful. “Mayor Dermody, in conjunction with Bert Cook and Mike Riehle from LEAP, impress me with how they strive to ensure La Porte is successful now and in the future,” Viere said.

For information on Material Architecture Corporation, where Lows Point is among developments featured, visit

17 Responses to “Developer: Lows Point will contain retail on main floor, 10 nice apartments upstairs”

  1. lawman

    Jun 28. 2021

    ‘upscale” laporte byword. good luck

    Reply to this comment
  2. Scott

    Jun 28. 2021

    A closet that costs more than my mortgage. Those are the kinds of people I want to move into my hometown!

    Reply to this comment
    • Norma

      Jun 28. 2021

      Such a nice looking building !!! Happy to hear it will be used in such a Great way . Thank you for seeing the potential in our community. Welcome !!!!!!

      Reply to this comment
    • Mike

      Jun 28. 2021

      This is great news! Hope there is a open house!

      Reply to this comment

    Jun 28. 2021

    Glad to see something being done with the old Lows building rather than having it sit and decay.
    Will the apartments have their own parking spots?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Nancy

    Jun 28. 2021

    How do you get on the list for an apartment?

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Jun 28. 2021

      Visit the website (address in the last paragraph of story) and there is contact information there.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Sam

    Jun 28. 2021

    This is really cool news. I am so glad that they will be restoring this building back to its former glory. I thought I remember reading that INDOT was going to fix up the upper floors and turn them into office space for them. Whatever happened to this? Regardless, I am so glad to hear that this building is going to be renovated and put tp good use. Now if they could renovate the beautiful County Home by the fairgrounds. Maybe a big firm from Chicago would want to move their headquarters there. It would bring some much needed revenue to our town of La Porte. What about upscale condo’s, or senior housing?

    Reply to this comment
  6. Christa

    Jun 28. 2021

    This is so exciting. Upscale or not those rents are right in line with the current market. I’d pay extra to live in a cool historic downtown building.

    Reply to this comment
  7. MB

    Jun 28. 2021

    As a 25 year old originally from LaPorte and now going into a hybrid work environment with my firm in Chicago, this is incredibly exciting and I know will draw a lot of young professionals with stable and strong incomes into the city. Excited for the future of LP!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jeff

    Jun 28. 2021

    10 apartments and no place to park.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Mark S

    Jun 29. 2021

    Born and raised in Laporte but have lived in Phoenix for many years. I like to keep an eye on Laporte out of pride in my hometown. This is great news. I hope it all works out

    Reply to this comment
  10. Michael J. Taggart

    Jul 04. 2021

    I used to shop at Low’s often, and was disappointed when it closed. Levines also was a popular store.

    It’s good to see that the building will be rennovated and put to good use rather than left to deteriorate further.


    Reply to this comment

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