Department of Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED)
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Historic Abbott Apartments Now Open in Stevens Square
Residents are now moving into Abbott Apartments, a historic rehabilitation of the original Abbott hospital complex located at 110 East 18th St. The hospital was founded by Dr. Amos Abbott in 1910 with backing from William Dunwoody, the founder of Dunwoody Institute (and husband of one of Dr. Abbott’s patients). There are four sections to the building, which were constructed between 1910 and the 1950s. Abbott Hospital vacated the building in 1980, and it was used as assisted living for seniors until 2004 when it became vacant.
(Video provided by Preservation Alliance of Minnesota)
The property was acquired by developer Swami Palanisami in 2005. The developer pursued several concepts for the site including demolition, which did not move forward because of concerns about the property’s historical significance. A proposal to convert the building to condominiums fell victim to the downturn in the condo market in 2006-2007. While vacant, the property deteriorated significantly and became a magnet for burglary, loitering, drug use, and prostitution. The building also had significant lead and asbestos contamination, which was another barrier to redevelopment.
Around 2008, Mr. Palanisami began to evaluate options for converting the building into rental apartments. CPED Residential Finance staff were already working with the developer to utilize brownfield cleanup funds that had been awarded to the project by Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council. Upon learning that a 100% market-rate rental project was not feasible on the site, CPED staff worked with the developer to reposition the project to include an affordable housing component. By doing so, the developer was able to access the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) and Tax Increment Financing (TIF). These funding sources, combined with Historic Tax Credits, a HUD-insured first mortgage, Hennepin County Funds, and Metropolitan Council funds, were critical to making the project happen.
The Abbott Apartment project includes 123 rental apartments, including 25 that are affordable to residents earning 50% of the Area Median Income. The building includes studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments as well as on-site parking (some underground), which is a rarity in the Stevens Square neighborhood. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its proximity to downtown and local businesses on Nicollet Avenue are proving to be a draw for potential residents, with approximately 80 of the units rented by April 2014.
Last updated Apr. 16, 2014