Investment in the Central Riverfront
[Pillsbury] ‘A’ Mill Artist Lofts
For over a century, starting in 1881, the Pillsbury ‘A’ Mill churned out flour for the Pillsbury Company at the heart of the Minneapolis riverfront. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966.
But after its closure in 2003, the mill sat empty for years, as developers worked to piece together plausible redevelopment plans. Empty, stabilized structures can be notoriously challenging to protect, and as the 2000’s wore on, preservationists became increasingly concerned about the structure’s future – it became perhaps the single most important empty landmark in the state at the time. It was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Places in 2011. Across the river, a 1991 fire famously claimed a considerable part of it’s former peer – the Washburn ‘A’ Mill – the remnants of which form the Mill City Museum today.
An earlier attempt by Schafer Richardson to redevelop the Pillsbury ‘A’ Mill stalled out in the Great Recession of the later 2000’s. But then, in 2013, Plymouth-based Dominium stepped up to complete a $112.8 million renovation and conversion of the structures into affordable artist lofts.
Financially, the project was an unsually heavy lift, reflective of both the challenging conditions in the building, but also the landmark’s critical relevance to our history. The $112.7 million project included $75.0 million in tax credits and grants. But today, the ‘A’ Mill is a hive of activity, hundreds of artists care calling the project home, and one of the state’s most important landmarks has been stabilized and protected.
The largest private investment in the Central Riverfront over the last year – indeed over the last decade – was the construction of the $94.5 million Stonebridge Lofts.
Completed in 2014, the building offers 164 luxury condominiums by Gold Medal Park, on the same block as the new Izzy’s Ice Cream.