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Dec. 3, 2012

Dominium, U.S. Bank Open Affordable Artists’ Housing Financed by Tax Credits

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Minneapolis-based Dominium has completed the newly renovated Metropolitan Artist Lofts. The grand opening ceremony for the property was attended by representatives from Dominium, financing partner U.S. Bank and the Grand Center neighborhood.

Located at 500 North Grand Boulevard in the Midtown St. Louis historic district of Grand Center, the Metropolitan building was originally built in 1908 and has stood vacant and unoccupied for many years. The historic building has now been transformed and features live/work artist lofts with upscale architecture and finishes.

Surrounded by museums, art galleries, restaurants and educational centers, the Metropolitan Artist Lofts will provide 72 units which are specifically designed as affordable housing to suit the needs of artists. Apart from the one- and two-bedroom apartments, the building also features studios for painters, sculptors and clay artists as well as sound studios with special soundproofing. The extra-wide hallways are transformed into gallery space, with picture hangers where residents can display their work. Residents will also have access to a dance studio and a fitness room.

“The Metropolitan Artist Lofts is a great use of a historical property that has stood vacant for many years,” said Jeff Huggett, vice president and project partner for Dominium. “We’re pleased to contribute to St. Louis’s vibrant art community and consider this rehabilitation a win both for our expanding Missouri portfolio and the residents of St. Louis.”

Debt and equity, including a construction loan, a first mortgage and close to $14 million federal and state Historic and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment, for the $20 million renovation was provided by U.S. Bank through its St. Louis-based subsidiary, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. USBCDC also made a $1.8 million Affordable Housing Assistance Program donation for the benefit of the project.

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