When the sale of 317 Second Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis for $850,000 went through last week, it was unclear what the future held for the neo-classical eight-story building. The building was used by the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office up until 2009.

Late Thursday, Adam Seraphine, principal of the building's buyer, an entity related to Edina-based NHH Properties III, said it will be renovated into executive offices, collaborative workspace and conference facilities, as well as partial and full floor space for office tenants.

"With floor plates of approximately 7,500 square feet, small and medium-sized companies can enjoy full-floor status with an affordable lease," Seraphine said in a statement. The floor plans will be flexible enough to accommodate small businesses that grow into bigger businesses.

Constructed in 1904, the brick building was built as the headquarters for the Soo Line Railroad, and then served as the home of Western Union for more than 50 years. After that, it was used as a multi-tenant office building, and then, as the Public Defender's Office. 

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.

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