Artists Lofts Opens in St. Louis

Metropolitan Artist Lofts, a redevelopment of a vintage 1908 property in St. Louis, has opened for occupancy.

St. Louis—Metropolitan Artist Lofts, a redevelopment of a vintage 1908 property in St. Louis, has opened for occupancy. The property stood unoccupied for years, but with renovations will now be a dwelling place for creative talent, according to developer Minneapolis-based Dominium.

Surrounded by museums, art galleries, restaurants and educational centers, the Metropolitan Artist Lofts will provide 72 units specifically designed as affordable housing to suit the needs of artists. In addition to one- and two-bedroom apartments, the property also provides studios for painters, sculptors and clay artists, as well as sound studios with special soundproofing.

A dance studio and a fitness room are also available to residents. Extra-wide hallways turn into gallery space, with picture hangers to display the work of residents.

Financing for the project, as usual with affordable housing (for artists or otherwise), involves a complex structure. U.S. Bank provided both debt and equity for the $20 million renovation, including a construction loan and a first mortgage.

The bank also provided nearly $14 million in federal and state Historic and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment through its St. Louis-based subsidiary, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. (USBCDC). USBCDC made a $1.8 million Affordable Housing Assistance Program donation for the benefit of the project.