Historic Sites in Duluth Work to Reform Landmarks

By KBJR News 1

October 24, 2013 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 2:28 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

Historic sites in Duluth are seeking funding to revitalize their futures.

The old St. Louis County Jail, Pastoret Terrace formerly known as The Kozy Apartments and the Duluth Armory are working toward securing millions to turn their dream projects into realities.

Kozy and former St. Louis County jail forerunners have teamed up to better their chances at success.

"The old Kozy apartments, very historic building built 125 years ago by Duluth's most prestigious architect. Building had a pretty disastrous fire in 2010.
It had 50 housing units in it before the fire, it now has none. It has been condemned for occupancy.
We're looking to restore the property to historic standards and provide about 40 units of affordable downtown workforce housing in the building," says Mike Conlan a partner in the Pastoret LLC project.

Conlan says the new 8.8 million dollar project will re–invest 12.8 million into the community but funds are needed to get the projects going.

"We're partnering up with another historic project the old St. Louis County jail...and we're looking to the city or its housing authority to issue some bonds to help us close the final gap in financing."

"We are looking to put between 30 to 40 units in the project all focused on the workforce housing community," adds Grant Carlson, Project Manager.

And when asked why the former jail was such a viable option...

"The unique architecture features on the building both being a historic structure and being a former jail lend themselves to create a unique living environment."

The preliminary construction budget for both projects is between the 12 and 13 million dollars.

Meanwhile one historic building in Duluth is targeting a youth demographic.

"The Armory project is all about creating a community center focused around art and music.
And the front of the building we expect to lease out for some sort of commercial development that could be housing, retail, offices even potentially a charter school" says Mark Poirier, Project Development Consultant at the Armory Arts and Music Center.

The project is estimated to carry an 8 to16 million dollar price tag, but can potentially be offset with historic or new market tax credits.
So far, 1 million has been raised. Poirier says the project has received a lot of community support.

"Most recently we've been very excited to have a lot of community support both from UMD and the college of St. Scholastica."

The armory has just completed its re–roofing project.
If funding and construction goes as planned for the former Kozy apartments, construction could begin as early as next summer.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com

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