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Tuttle School property up for sale

After being vacant for several years, the Tuttle School building’s future is in question again after going up for sale
Image by Dean Tan
The building’s listing broker said they have received thousands of phone calls from potential buyers since the building went up for sale in December 2022.

The site of the former Tuttle Elementary School went up for sale in December 2022 after being vacant since April 2007.

Located just a mile from the University of Minnesota campus, the three-story structure on 18th & Talmage Avenues Southeast built in 1910 once served as an elementary school for the families of Southeast Como.

The school opened for enrollment in 1911. However, after nearly a century, the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) board made the decision to close Tuttle’s doors to students in April 2007.

The school began facing enrollment sustainability issues from the mid- to late-2000s as University students replaced families with children in the Southeast Como area.

The building has been vacant since 2007, which has raised several questions from many Southeast Como residents on what will happen to the once thriving elementary school.

Throughout 2021, several forums and surveys were sent out by the Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) to gather insight on what community members would like to see happen to the building. Many suggestions involved creating a community-based facility out of the old elementary school.

The MPS board issued several updates about the building and officially removed the building as an MPS school in October 2021, which gave the community an opportunity to create something out of the vacant facility.

The Tuttle School was put on the Surplus Property list in May 2022, which meant it could be put up for sale or lease. SECIA and MPS began searching for developers that focus on redeveloping, managing and funding older structures, and MPS selected Commercial Equities Group (CEG) to manage the sale of the property.

Jeff Salzbrun, the listing broker for the Tuttle School and owner of CEG, said CEG has received thousands of phone calls from potential buyers interested in the property.

“We’re just trying to sift through them and find the group that has not just the financial ability, but the the ability to go through the process,” Salzbrun said. ”Unfortunately, we get just far too many phone calls from people that really want to see something there or they want to reminisce and go tour the school again because they once went to school there.”

Kathy Knudson, co-chair of SECIA’s environment committee, said CEG is also handling the sale of two other surplus schools in Minneapolis, Willard and Gordon. However, “everything is on hold at the moment,” until CEG receives a market value report, she said.

SECIA’s representative to the University District Alliance board Katie Fournier said she hopes to see the building turned into some kind of housing for those in need.

“I guess that affordable housing would be nice, but I don’t know whether that’s possible,” Fournier said.

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