$100 million plan to convert Pillsbury A-Mill into artist housing

by Molly Novak

The Pillsbury A-Mill stopped running over a decade ago but the building still stands with the Mississippi River running right through the bottom of the building.

Now Dominium Co. plans to convert the building into 255 low-income housing units for artists, which would include studios and performance areas. Costing over $100 million, the project would be one of the most expensive residential construction projects in the Twin Cities, reported the Star Tribune.

The site of the mill is one of three city sites on the National Register of Historic places and was called one of the 11 most endangered historic places in the country last year.

Dominium's plans got the go-ahead from the Minneapolis Historic Prevention Commission but still needs approval from the city planning commission.

The land around the mill has been taken over by developments and the mill is the one of the last spots left for developing. 

Due to the age of the building along with restrictions that come with the historic designation, the most economically feasible option was low-income housing, said Owen Metz senior development associate for Dominum to the Star Tribune.  The project will be funded by affordable housing and state and federal historic tax credits, a public subsidy to clean up the site and a financing package with housing revenue bonds.

The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Associaton said the group supports the plans for the area, saying it is the building that deserves it the most.