Duluth Armory awarded $250,000 grant to start redevelopment project

By KBJR News 1

Duluth Armory awarded $250,000 grant to start redevelopment project

January 7, 2014 Updated Jan 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Armory Arts and Music Center in Duluth has been awarded a $250,000 grant to address building issues and make the structure ready for a redevelopment project.

The grant comes from the Minnesota Historical Society and will be directed toward exterior masonry stabilization and tuck-pointing of the Historic Armory.

The masonry project will follow a reroofing project done this past summer as the AAMC group, which owns the Armory and adjacent property, addresses structural issues and works to make the building ready for occupancy.

The AAMC’s concept for redevelopment includes for-profit spaces, such as housing and retail, in the front four-story “head house” portion of the building facing London Road. Those spaces would help support community spaces on the north side of the structure such as the Music Resource Center and the multipurpose Drill Hall with its historic stage.

There would also be space for indoor parking and artists including Forging Community. The creation of an art “Maker Space” is also being considered. The AAMC anticipates that the building improvements will also help attract a development partner to the project.

The Armory’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places makes it eligible for historic tax credits which are valued at 20% Federal and 20% State of eligible development costs including tenant build-out.

The next step for the AAMC will be the selection of the design team to do detailed review of exterior masonry conditions and develop plans and specifications for the work. After plans are developed, the project will be up for bid with work expected to begin in the summer.

“The AAMC is proud of its accomplishments to date including raising over $2 million dollars toward the project, the creation of the Armory’s Music Resource Center after-school music program now in its third year, Dylan Fest concerts, and the recent opening of the Armory Annex featuring the Forging Community blacksmithing group, gift shop and AAMC office. The AAMC is thankful for all of the volunteers, donors, grantors and sponsors who have helped make this possible”, said Susan Phillips, Board President of the AAMC.

The Historic Armory was built in 1915 just prior to America's entry into World War I and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For much of its life the Armory served as both a military training facility and a focal point for the Duluth community.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns