Congratulations to Dominium on being selected as a semi-finalist in the Housing Development for the NDC Academy Awards 2015. The NDC Academy Awards Semi-Finalists represent some of the most innovative and impactful developments changing the lives for residents in underserved communities across the country, NDC is honored to highlight the achievements of these organizations at the NDC Academy 2015.
Schmidt Artist Lofts – St. Paul, MN
The Schmidt Brewery has been an important part of history in the city of St. Paul, Minn. providing jobs to the residents of the neighborhood for nearly 100 years. Originally built as the Cave Brewery, the Schmidt Brewery has been home to the Stahlmann, North Star, Pfeiffer, Jacob Schmidt and Landmark brands. The last kegs that rolled out of the location in 2002 were filled with Grain Belt and Pig’s Eye brew. After a stint as an ethanol processing plant, Schmidt Brewery sat vacant until a massive community and developer effort resulted in a plan for revitalization of the brewery’s 16 acres and the creation of Schmidt Artist Lofts. The Schmidt Artist Lofts has 260 total housing units including 247 loft-style units in the brewery’s former “Brew House” and “Bottle House” as well as 13 townhomes. All 260 units are section 42 housing, providing affordable living for members of St. Paul’s vibrant artist community; units are available to artists of all disciplines. The project utilized a variety of funding sources to make the project viable including $30.9 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, $21.1 million in State Historic Tax Credits and $21.1 million in Federal Historic Tax Credits. Dominium also worked closely with state and community groups to bring the project to completion. This included the West 7th Street/ Fort Road Federation, the City of Saint Paul, the Metropolitan Council, Ramsey County and the MN Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED). This broad community effort resulted in a development project that revitalized a long-vacant historic site and now provides strong community value.
Residents are impacted by the support of St. Paul’s local culture plus the added culture that Schmidt Artist Lofts provide. This project is designed to take advantage of the building’s natural light, high ceilings and existing character to provide inspiring live/work spaces for its artist residents. The building itself is noted by architectural historians for its crenellated towers and Gothic details. Former industrial and brewing uses in the various buildings provide opportunity for every one of the 247 loft units to have its own layout and personality. The Schmidt Artist Lofts also address the pressing need for affordable housing in St. Paul. All 260 units provide affordable living options, with 234 of the units at 60 percent of the Average Median Income (AMI) and 26 units at 50 percent of AMI. With intentions of catering to the artist community, common space at Schmidt Artist Lofts will provide space for artist residents to work. Residents can take advantage of numerous unique studios tailored to yoga/Pilates, dance, paint, pottery, play/performance, sound and media. These studios incorporate additional features of state-of-the-art kilns, advanced acoustics, lighting capabilities, Wi-Fi, projectors, and the latest in sound recording/mixing equipment. Residents also enjoy a fully equipped fitness center and multiple galleries to showcase artwork. At Schmidt Artist
Lofts, common areas provide opportunity for residents to network with fellow artists. With art and culture a central feature of St. Paul’s community, the Schmidt Artist Lofts provide a unique living option for the community’s artists to live and work together in an affordable setting.