The Pillsbury 'A' Mill in Minneapolis, which once belonged to the
world's largest flour-milling complex, represents a key part of the city's growth
along the Mississippi River.
But in recent years, the mill,
part of which dates to 1881, went through foreclosure after a
redevelopment proposal from another developer fell through.
Afterward, it wound up on a list of "America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places," created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation
But Plymouth-based Dominium Development
has an $80-million plan to reverse the trend. It plans to convert a
handful of buildings on the campus into a 240-unit affordable artist
live/work complex, according to Owen Metz, a senior development
associate with the company.
Separately, Doran Cos. in Minneapolis is planning a 375-unit housing
development for another portion of the Pillsbury site. Read The Line
Dominium is still working out the details of the building and land
agreements, this "is the first project of its scale, in terms of
affordable artist live/work housing," he says. "We're trying to have
different little nooks that cater to artists, with studios as well," he
Dominium has a similar project underway at Jacob Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul, which The Line
. "We're trying to play off of what's already been done and what we've learned," says Metz.
much of the design work is still in an early phase at Pillsbury, Metz
says that the iconic grain elevators, which contribute to its
historic significance, will stay intact--purely for aesthetic reasons.
The group is talking with the neighborhood group, city officials,
and other stakeholders to get input and leverage some of the work
that's already been done on the site. "We're trying to streamline the
process a little bit but also get feedback," which Metz says is
especially important for such a landmark.
Some of the building's
structural issues need to be addressed before too
much gets hammered out. "Nothing's in stone yet," he says. "We're
considering various uses for the space. We want to make sure it
fronts well at Main Street."
He hopes it'll bring a unique
vitality to the area, while also building on the existing community in
Northeast, he says. "We feel that financially, it's a good investment
and that it'll be a success and be able to fill up quickly," he says.
In an area where many of the housing options are higher-end, "It gives
people the opportunity to live that close to downtown, with those views,
at an affordable level," he says.
Source: Owen Metz, Dominium Development
Writer: Anna Pratt