For a few days, it looked like the City of Minneapolis had a buyer for the last piece of the Grain Belt Brewery.
The office building, built in 1893 across from the brewery on Marshall Street, was acquired by the city in 1987. It has been vacant since 2002.
Then came news that the Collaborative Design Group was interested in developing the site and apparently was willing to team up with a developer for the adjacent housing site. Collaborative, which planned to be the owner-occupant, proposed $1.274 million in improvements to the building.
But it was not to be.
Council Member Lisa Goodman, who chairs the Community Development Committee, said that at 8:30 p.m. on the day before the agenda item was to be considered, she got an email saying that the deal was off.
The city plans to sell the office building and the housing site as a package but not necessarily to the same developer.
“You can’t separate the cherry from the pit,” said Goodman after the surprise announcement. “We don’t want to sell off the housing site without a plan for the historic building.”
Everwood Development also had a proposal that included rehab of the office building and development of a 150-unit market-rate housing project on the 3-acre land site. It’s also interested in moving to the office building.
The city had proposed splitting the project between Collaborative and Everwood, with Collaborative focused on the office building and Everwood on the housing project. The committee decided to delay action for two weeks.
Minneapolis is asking $1.4 million for the housing parcel and $150.000 for the Grain Belt building. Moving ahead with the sale would be “a giant win-win,” says Goodman.
Last chance to have your say on budget
A public hearing on the city budget is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. today in Room 317 of Minneapolis City Hall. Afterward, the City Council will make its final amendments and then vote on the 2012 budget.