Historic tax credits transform a warehouse into an activity hub

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LOCATION

 

OWNER

CONSTRUCTED

PROJECT DATE

PROJECT SCOPE

PROJECT SIZE

Minneapolis, MN

Buhl Investors

1883 - 1948

2018 - 2021

Historic tax credit certification, Minneapolis heritage preservation (HPC) approvals, design guidance for historic building redevelopment

46,500 sq. ft.

An iconic soap factory is transformed into a unique business, retail, and health hub using Minnesota’s state historic tax credits.

CHALLENGE

The original Union Railway Storage building was built in 1883 to service the adjacent rail tracks. But, the building’s most well-known history, and tenant, was the National Purity Soap Company that thrived in and expanded the building in the twentieth century. In the 1990s, the building was prepared for demolition and donated to a non-profit contemporary arts organization, the eponymous Soap Factory. But, in 2018 - and in the middle of construction - the building was threatened with foreclosure.

 

SUCCESS

New History worked with Buhl Investors and their design and construction teams to complete the renovation project that had been abandoned. The character of the well-worn three-story factory building was retained in the new office and retail spaces: wood floors, high ceilings, large steel industrial windows, and exposed heavy timber and concrete structures are highlighted throughout. The factory space that has created soap, art, and now business activity, will continue to thrive.