Minneapolis picks developer for school headquarters

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 28, 2013 - 8:26 PM

District will negotiate sale agreement with Hillcrest Development for commercial space in old building.

The building that has represented Minneapolis schools for more than 80 years should be sold to an experienced local developer that has renovated six other old buildings within six blocks, the Minneapolis school board decided Tuesday evening.

The board approved 8-0 a staff recommendation to negotiate a sale of 807 Broadway to Hillcrest Development over six other offers. The decision differed from recent proposals to sell school buildings in that the board, staff and neighborhood agreed.

The building has been school headquarters since 1930. It’s where generations of parents registered kids for school or voiced complaints to the board, where desegregation plans that reshaped a city were devised, and where teachers picketed in a teacher strike that reformed state public employee law. The headquarters moved to 1250 Broadway last summer.

The district got three “really close offers” from developers, once various contingencies were weighed against the offered price, according to Mark Bollinger, chief administrative officer. The other two were for residential redevelopment, and had more contingencies.

The sale of the equivalent of more than a city block of property comes with a 1914 building and subsequent add-ons for district back shops that total 236,000 square feet. Hillcrest said it wants to create space for small and medium-size businesses, in keeping with the Logan Park neighborhood’s desire for jobs to replace those lost when the headquarters moved.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

Twitter: @brandtstrib

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