A-Mill Artists Lofts: Multifamily Community of the Year

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BKV Group
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BKV Group
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Rising above the century-old cobblestones of Saint Anthony Main stands the historic Pillsbury A-Mill, a physically impressive reminder of the origins of the City of Minneapolis. Built in 1880, it utilized power derived from the Mississippi River to drive milling.

Once the largest flour milling operation in the world, it was shut down in 2003. The building sat vacant and deteriorated over the next several years. In 2011, it was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation list of 11 Most Endangered Places.

Renewed interest in Minneapolis' urban core and a demand for affordable housing provided an opportunity to reuse the Pillsbury A-Mill to support Minneapolis and its burgeoning artistic culture.

In 2013, Dominium acquired the mill and revitalized it into 251 affordable artist apartments known as the A-Mill Artist Lofts, bringing new life to the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. Today, A-Mill Artist Lofts nurtures artistry by providing a useful and affordable home for local artists while helping the neighborhood thrive.

Located on Main Street in Southeast Minneapolis, A-Mill has helped develop a vibrant residential and commercial community for walking biking and enjoying the riverfront. The adaptive reuse of a vacant mill has changed the socio-economic viability of the neighborhood with shops, restaurants and cafes flourishing nearby. The artistic energy created by the A-Mill also reinvigorated the city's embrace of the river with bridges and sidewalks adjacent to the river filled residence, neighbors and visitors enjoying the vibrant riverfront community.

While the competition was stiff, the judges were thoroughly impressed by this project. Through Dominium’s vision and perseverance they were able to rejuvenate this historic flour mill and create 251 beautiful apartment homes while maintaining the original features of the mill. Through creative, and highly complicated financing, Dominium was able to create a gorgeous LEED Gold project inside the city core of Minneapolis.

The judges thought the use of the original elements of the building, such as the original cement walls, and the repurposing of old machinery was a creative way to maintain the historic integrity of the building. Elegant and edgy finishes add a beautiful finishing touch to this remarkable project.