Thursday, December 1 2022

DULUTH, Minn. – The historic former Duluth Central High School is being restored and the former classrooms will become 122 apartments.

The building was originally constructed in the 1890s and has since undergone multiple renovations.

Now, for the first time, it will be an apartment complex – and much more.

“It is completely gutted, but of course we still preserve much of the historic aspects of the building where we can. Since this is a historic preservation project, the state historic preservation office certainly has a say in what can be changed and what can’t,” the director said. of Kraus-Anderson Construction operations, Dan Markharm.

The old central lockers are not going anywhere, they will remain intact in the hallways of the apartments.

As for the original hardwood floor of the gymnasium, it will also remain intact.

All names signed by Central High students inside the clock tower will not be erased, but rather preserved for years to come.

“In early 2020, when the district decided to put it up for sale, we saw an opportunity to preserve not only one of Duluth’s most historic buildings, but the state as well,” said the director of the development of Saturday Properties. , Marc Laverty.

Saturday Properties is the project manager and developer, and Kraus-Anderson Construction is responsible for bringing the place to life – literally hitting the bullseye.

Both parties agree, Duluth needs housing and this complex will provide mixed housing.

“Duluth needs housing, especially downtown. This type of conversion of old historic buildings into housing has taken place in cities across the Midwest and certainly across the country,” Markharm said.

It’s not a cheap task to undertake – nearly $50 million is being shelled out for the project.

Funding comes from historic federal and state tax credits, City of Duluth tax revenue and funding, and HUD mortgages.

“This project will contribute to more development in the area, but there are still issues where we have rising construction costs, an interest rate environment that is not just affecting Duluth, but across the country. So there is always concern about how we are going to meet housing needs with these ongoing impacts,” Laverty said.

Project coordinators say working with these historic buildings requires such large investments to keep them safe.

As for the apartment complex, it should be ready to move in by December 2023.

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