KARE 11 NEWS A-MILL & SCHMIDT ARTIST LOFTS

September 17, 2014 admin

MINNEAPOLIS -- What is old soon will become new again on the banks of the Mississippi in downtown Minneapolis.

A loft building is going on in the old Pillsbury A-Mill building. And while that's about as unique as snow in winter, just know that it is unique because of who will live there.

The historic mill will be an artist loft space only, home to 251 artists come later this year and mid-summer next year.

"This allows folks an opportunity to live on the river who otherwise wouldn't have the chance to, so we are really excited to be able to bring additional diversity to the riverfront," Dominium Apartments developer on the project Owen Metz said.

There are multi-bedroom units and studio apartments with every bell and whistle that most other new condos get. What sets these units apart is that they can only be leased to working artists who make a very meager wage.

To lease a unit, at least one person in the household has to be approved by the arts selection committee as a working artist and here is the income breakdown (and this is gross income).

1 Occupant: $34,860

2 Occupants: $39,840

3 Occupants: $44,820

4 Occupants: $49,740

5 Occupants: $53,760

In a part of the city where the average rent for a one bedroom flat is more than $1,200, it would have been nearly impossible for an artist on that salary to ever land a place here, perhaps, without this concept.

"Minneapolis is very advanced culturally as far what we do for support for the arts and individual artists, but we haven't really kept up on what is a national trend of creating living and working spaces that are affordable for individual artists. St Paul is an example of a city that has been doing that for many many decades," Dominium Consultant Tom Nordyke said.

Did someone mention St. Paul?

Well, the same company developed the old Schmidt Brewery into artist lofts and opened them up for renters this past summer.

Right now the Schmidt lofts, priced very similarly, are fully leased and arguably have the best view of all.

Artists live there and work in their homes but also onsite is a pottery room, a painting studio, practice spaces for musicians, an open kitchen for chefs. If an artist needs it, it's likely there.

The same will happen for the Minneapolis site.

For the past several years, the story of the Minneapolis condo has been the same; more amenities, more luxury and more rent money.

So this will fly in the face of that on the last part. It won't cost much, but if you ever get to see the views from the rooftops of these places, those are a million bucks.

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