After years of being underused, the 1907 Lehmann Center in Minneapolis's Uptown area will be converted by the Plymouth-based
Dominium Development & Acquisition
into a 136-unit affordable housing development.
The $30 million complex, which has been dubbed the Buzza Lofts, will have a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments along with studios, according to Chris Barnes, who is a vice president and project manager at Dominium.
Following a wide variety of uses, the building most recently belonged to the Minneapolis Public Schools
Considering that the building is historically designated through the National Register of Historic Places
, “We’ll need to mesh it with historic profiles,” Barnes says.
Many of the internal walls will be demolished so that the developer can start with a clean floor plate. “Once the demolition is completed, we’ll lay out the apartments in the grid,” he says.
The building will also have a leasing office, a fitness center, and a lounge.
For the most part, its creamy white exterior will remain the same, though the roof will be replaced and new window openings will be made, Barnes explains.
Dominium hopes to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
, in the high-ranking silver category, for the building. As just one example of the eco-friendly amenities being planned, a former parking lot will become a landscaped green space, with benches, tables, and a fireplace. “It’s unusual for an urban development to have that much green space,” he says.
Another one of its major green initiatives relates to stormwater management on the site.
Barnes is optimistic about the project, which will probably be ready by the end of the year.
On the whole, the rental market in Minneapolis is doing well, Barnes says. “Uptown as a sub-market is among the more desirable areas. Folks of all income levels want to live in that neighborhood.”
Source: Chris Barnes, vice president and project manager, Dominium Development
Writer: Anna Pratt