Economic Health:

Investment in the Central Riverfront

$0 million
Public Sources 2004-14

every $1



$1.0 billion
Private Sources 2004-14

$5.36 return

In brief, that’s what investment in the physical development of the Upper River has looked like over the last decade. Between 2004 and 2014, $49 million in public investment has leveraged $171 million in private investment. Put another way, for every public dollar invested by any level of government, there has been a $3.46 return on investment.

Top Public Investments (2004-14)

rankproject namepublic investment
1Pillsbury 'A' Mill Lofts Apartments (Dominium, 2014/5)$75.0 million
2Guthrie Theater Complex (Guthrie Theater Foundation, 2006)$38.4 million
3Riverfront Parking Ramp (across from Guthrie) & 9th Avenue construction from Washington to 2nd St (2005)$27.8 million
4St. Anthony Falls Lab Renovation (University of Minnesota, 2012)$15.8 million
5University of Minnesota Steam Plant Exterior Rehab (U of M, 2004)$12.0 million
6Copham Residences (Holden Building)(Greco, 2012)$7.4 million
7Mill Quarter Parking Ramp (City of Minneapolis, 2005)$6.2 million
8St. Anthony Mills Apartments (Brighton Development, 2007)$6.1 million
9MacPhail Center for Music (MacPhail, 2007)$5.5 million
10Emanuel Housing (RS Eden, 2014)$4.7 million
Source: Minneapolis Riverfront Development Dataset, 2015
(initial dataset by City of Minneapolis, expanded and updated by Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership)

Top Private Investments (2004-14)

rankproject nameprivate investment
1Stonebridge Lofts Condominiums (Shamrock Development, 2014)$94.5 million
2Guthrie Theater Complex (Guthrie Theater Foundation, 2006)$86.6 million
3The Carlyle Condominiums (APEX Asset Management & Opus Group, 2007)$71.2 million
4The Bridgewater Condominiums (Shamrock Development)$58.7 million
5222 Hennepin Apartments/Whole Foods (Ryan Cos., Excelsior Group, Invesco)$58.3 million
6Marshall Apartments and Target Express store (EdR, 2014)$57.8 million
7Village at St. Anthony Falls Condominiums, HuntGregory 2005) $42.2 million
8Cobalt Condominiums (Exeter Realty, 2007)$42.0 million
9Phoenix on the River Condominiums (Schafer Richardson, 2007)$41.5 million
10Pillsbury 'A' Mill Lofts Apartments (Dominium Group, 2014/15)$37.8 million
Source: Minneapolis Riverfront Development Dataset, 2015
(initial dataset by City of Minneapolis, expanded and updated by Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership)

[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.

Click here to view a slideshow of the ‘A’ Mill and its interior

Stonebridge Lofts

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.

Photos of ‘A’ Mill and Stonebridge Lofts credit Robert Spaulding for Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership.  Page background photo courtesy Brian Jastram, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization.