A Gateway, Building Community, and Local Jobs

parkingORartists.jpgThe NDDC has been working to realize its vision for the Building for Creative Professionals (BCP) since the Artspace Projects’ concept for the former Middle School faded. In fact, we’ve been at it for over two years.

In order to create an architectural gateway to Northfield, foster a community of residents that builds on our existing asset of creative professionals, and establish a building that retains and attracts talented workers and desirable jobs, the NDDC conceptualized the BCP. Although the challenges have been many, progress continues.

During the past six months, the NDDC has secured grants from the Minnesota Housing Partnership and financing from the Northfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority, moved forward on assembling debt and equity from private local sources for the land acquisition, and made remarkable progress toward securing a major grant from a local employer. We have found new allies in our pursuit of funding, discussed teaming with local architects and contractors, and met with potential partners.

We have secured a $100,000 predevelopment loan to cover the costs of initial architectural and legal work and had planned to start this work at the beginning of March. However, we’ve decided not to spend that money until we have site control of the property where we plan to build. We also need to have site control in order to apply for tax credits from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

The NDDC continues to be committed to creating much-needed workforce housing in Northfield, respecting the limits of local financial resources, and valuing the contributions of local workers. Perhaps more importantly, the NDDC continues to believe that there is need of and support for an architectural gateway to Northfield, the tremendous potential to be leveraged from our asset of creative professionals, and a building that attracts and retains talented workers and desirable jobs.

The NDDC has worked on this project for two years; the community has envisioned it for much longer. We will continue striving toward our goal.