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May. 13, 2012

Dominium Closes in on Approval for Pillsbury A Mill Conversion

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Plymouth-based Dominium Inc. is inching closer to the end of a lengthy approval process for a $100 million conversion of the historic Pillsbury A Mill complex into affordable housing for artists, the StarTribune reports. The Ways and Means Committee of the Minneapolis City Council is set to review the project ahead of a hearing with the Historic Preservation Commission.

As reported last year by Multi-Housing News, the Pillsbury A Mill section of Dominium’s Pillsbury Lofts adaptive-reuse project was on the “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” list for 2011, released by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Dominium plans to assemble a complex financing package that will include tax-increment financing and historic tax credits for work on the complex.

Dominium hopes to close on the acquisition of the property in May and begin construction work this fall, according to Owen Metz, senior development associate. Plans call for one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as some studio and three-bedroom units, with rents ranging from $800 to $1,250 per month.

A Multi-Housing News featured story by Armand Brachman, managing partner for Dominium, reported that Dominium first entered the artist lofts market back in 2004 with the development of Carleton Artist Lofts in St. Paul, featuring 169 apartments, a sound studio and numerous spaces for clay, painting and dance.

Dominium’s artist lofts stand out because they meet the criteria for Section 42 housing, offering a housing opportunity for low-income artists.

The planned Pillsbury A Mill apartments won’t see too many changes to their exteriors due to the historic designation, but there will be major changes to the courtyards that connect several buildings. High-end finishes and common spaces designed to encourage residents to collaborate will be included in the buildings.

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