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Artists Lofts Planned For Metropolitan Building

$25 million project will include retail space, galleries and studios

The Metropolitan Building, 500 N. Grand Blvd., is undergoing a $25 million renovation. photo by Diana Linsley (click for larger version)
November 16, 2011
Plans for artists lofts are once again on the easel as a Minnesota-based company redevelops the old Metropolitan Building in Grand Center near the Fox Theater.

Dominium Development of Plymouth, Minn., is converting the building into 72 one and two-bedroom apartments, some retail space and artists' galleries. The $25 million project, built with private funding, got a recent boost with the issuance of $21 million in tax-exempt bonds authorized by the St. Louis Industrial Development Authority.

Jeffrey R. Huggett, vice-president and project partner, said the Metropolitan Building will be similar to the Leather Trades Artists Lofts Dominium Development opened in October. The Leather Trades Artists Lofts is in the former Leather Trades Building at 1600 Locust St., in the garment district.

The Metropolitan Building, 500 N. Grand Blvd., will be similar in that it will be "affordable housing for artists," Huggett said.

"This is a complete, gut-rehab," Huggett said. "It's a 100 year-old office building so every single square-inch will get touched."

Plans call for new plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems and masonry restoration on every elevation of the building.

The Metropolitan will have underground parking, studio space for various artists, including a dance studio, a painting studio, a number of sound recording studios, a clay studio, an exercise room and a community space.

"There are over 500 windows in this building and we're taking advantage of every single one of them," Huggett said. "We're thrilled about that fact."

There will be a small amount of commercial space for lease, with apartment leases similar to those at Leather Trades.

Work at the Metropolitan began in the summer and Huggett said it could be completed and ready for occupancy by fall, 2012.

"We're looking for artists to be residents here," Huggett said. "We had a very strong response to the Leather Trades Lofts, which filled up within the first 30 days, so we're expecting a very similar response on this property."

Lease information can be obtained by calling 866-963-5955 or 436-6760, or online at www.leathertradesartistslofts.com.

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