It took only five minutes.
In a small Minneapolis City Hall basement office, the Soap Factory said goodbye Tuesday morning to the mortgage of its flagship building near the downtown riverfront.
It was sold at the weekly sheriff's sale for $1.2 million to OSP LLC, an Edina-based asset and wealth management company, which paid upfront in certified bonds to the building's current owner, RJM Construction. RJM had taken on $2.5 million of the Soap Factory's debt in the wake of a renovation project that was halted when a restaurant investor pulled out and financing did not come through to cover construction costs for the venue, which has been a hub for experimental artists since 1989. It has been on hiatus for most of the past three years.
A six-month window now begins, during which the Soap can buy back the 130-year-old former soap manufacturing plant — if it can match the purchase price.
"We definitely have some work to do, but I think we all feel very positively about our ability to make this work," said Soap Factory Board Member Rosemary T. Williams. "We feel like we are very close."
The Soap's mortgage was the only item sold at the sheriff's sale Tuesday. It covered nearly half of the Soap's debt to RJM. The Golden Valley-based construction company said it will continue to work with the Soap as it tries to arrange financing.