A vintage building in St. Paul’s Merriam Park neighborhood, which at one point was scheduled to be demolished, is getting a second chance.
It’ll become a transitional housing facility for adults who’ve struggled with chemical dependency.
Transition Homes Corp.
, which runs a program along those lines at the nearby Foundation House, plans to bring its services to the Merriam Park building following its renovation.
It’s a positive change for the 1880s building, which went through foreclosure stages in recent years, according to Mike Blair, who manages Foundation House.
At one point the city planned to tear down the building, which has sat vacant for 12 years. However, “The city was able to get a waiver on it due to its historic nature,” he says.
A Pioneer Press story
details the three-level building’s distinctive features, including its "polygonal shape, the elliptical arches over its windows and the castle battlement-like notches of its parapet.”
Transition Homes Corp., which is still negotiating the building’s purchase, will put in an outpatient office and a 25-unit “board and lodge facility” for men.
The building, which now is an empty shell, will get a new kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, lounge, and more, he says.
Right now, the group is waiting for the various approvals it needs to get going on the project, which the Pioneer Press reports will total $1 million.
Blair says that the development is a good use of the space. It’ll serve people who are “homeless by definition, with no job, no assets, no income,” and who are becoming sober.
"We try to offer a foundation for recovery," he says.
That involves finding jobs and permanent housing, he says.
If all goes as planned, the place could open as early as this fall.
Source: Mike Blair, manager, Foundation House
Writer: Anna Pratt