The former machine shop at 300 2nd St. SE sits on the sidelines while construction surges ahead on the Pillsbury A-Mill lofts in the St. Anthony Main area of Minneapolis.
But a Twin Cities developer Schafer Richardson has big plans for the 98-year-old building, which was originally part of the Pillsbury milling complex.
An entity related to the firm called Machine Shop LLC bought the building for $727,500, according to a certificate of real estate value filed earlier this week. The plan is to turn the building into 26,000-square-feet of office and/or retail space.
According to Schafer Richardson, the now-vacant building was originally used to fabricate milling machines and equipment from 1916 to about 1930, and then as automobile storage until the 1990s.
The property has been vacant for the past 10 years, and it shows its age. But industrial elements, such as high ceilings and windows, an open central gallery and mezzanine, steel columns and beams, and historic bridge cranes remain intact.
The project, which should begin this summer, is expected to be complete in the spring of 2015.
Schafer Richardson was going to redevelop the entire high-profile spot, including the A-Mill, into 1,000 condos and 100,000 squre feet of commercial space. But the $500 million project never got off the ground before financing dried up as the Great Recession took hold. Then Bismarck, N.D.-based BNC National Bank bought back the 8-acre site in a sheriff's sale for $12 million.
Currently, another Twin Cities developer Dominium, is leading a $156 million conversion of the A Mill complex into 251 artists lofts.