When entrepreneur Craig Kruckeberg set out to find a downtown condo several years ago, he was looking for a true loft, with a “warehouse feeling.”
“That was my criteria,” he said, figuring it would be easier to furnish a space with high ceilings and an open floor plan.
Kruckeberg found what he was looking for at SoHo in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood, just northwest of downtown, between the center of the city and the Mississippi River.
Today, the North Loop is a high-energy spot dotted with upscale eateries and trendy shops. But six years ago, before the new Twins stadium was built, the North Loop was relatively quiet, despite its proximity to downtown. “It was completely different,” said Kruckeberg, who is moving to Lake Minnetonka.
SoHo, the six-story brick building on Washington Avenue that attracted Kruckeberg with its vintage warehouse vibe, was built in 1922 as a factory for the Johnson Nut Co. In 2007, the building was converted into condos, with retail on the first floor. Kruckeberg, the original owner of his 2,270-square-foot, top-floor unit, was able to finish it to his liking.
He left the Chicago clay brickwork in its original red hue (it was painted white in many other units), and added vintage architectural elements, salvaged from other buildings, to give his condo character.
The reclaimed wood floors came from an old shoe factory in Minneapolis and a mill in Wabasha, Minn., he said. All the interior doors are architectural antiques, including a large arched church door, painted blue, that Kruckeberg had installed between his main living area and his bedroom.
The door’s threshold is so thick that it provided depth for an 18-inch wine cabinet with display storage that Kruckeberg had built into the wall.
A pair of distinctive vintage double doors open into Kruckeberg’s home theater. When he bought them, the doors were painted dull black. But when he had them stripped, they turned out to be gleaming copper, making the $200 he’d paid for them an absolute steal. “That was a surprise,” he said. “[The seller] didn’t realize what they had.”
Kruckeberg, a movie buff, had the home theater soundproofed so he could watch his beloved “Top Gun” at top volume without alienating his neighbors. The theater also includes a spiral staircase leading up to a lofted guest bedroom.
Kruckeberg hired an interior designer because he wanted a funky vintage vibe for his home. “I said, ‘I want everything to feel like you dug it out of a Dumpster,’ ” he recalled.
He calls the eclectic interior “part Clint Eastwood, part James Bond,” adding that “it wasn’t set up to be one style.”
He also contributed some quirky vintage touches of his own. In an antique store, he saw a pile of old Playboy magazines, including one with a cover that intrigued him: a simple illustration of a woman wearing a low-backed white dress. “It was clean and classy. I thought, ‘That would look really cool on a wall,’ ” So he had it scanned onto a large canvas to create a focal point for his main living area.
In the kitchen, where light birch cabinets were the norm in other units, Kruckeberg opted for exotic zebrawood, set against a bold backsplash of red glass tile.
The open spaces, vintage elements and unusual touches make the condo a distinctive space for entertaining, said listing agent Joe Grunnet of Downtown Resource Group.
“It’s one of a kind — one of the most unique lofts in the city, especially in the North Loop,” he said. “It’s Old World meets New World.”
Joe Grunnet of Downtown Resource Group has the listing. Call 612-244-6613 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.