It’s rarely good news when an artists’ complex is sold. However, today’s case is an unusual one, as northeast Minneapolis’ Northrup King Building has been purchased by an organization with altruistic goals.
Currently run by Shamrock Properties, Inc., Northrup will soon be owned and operated by local nonprofit developer Artspace Properties, Inc.
“We are committed to keeping Northrup King Building a place for artists for decades to come, preserving this important anchor of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District,” says Greg Handberg, Artspace senior vice president of properties.
While artists working in the Northeast arts district have been wary of encroaching condo projects, pedal pubs, and gentrification raising rents and changing the overall character of their neighborhood, this transition of ownership offers a glimmer of hope for the fate of the building. Artspace’s mission statement is to “create, foster, and preserve affordable and sustainable space for artists and arts organizations.”
Intermedia Arts, which shuttered and sold its south Minneapolis space a few years ago, also helped in the acquisition, providing grant funding.
“We believe this is a powerful way to preserve Intermedia Arts’ vision, and invest in the future of emerging and underrepresented artists in Minneapolis for generations,” says Intermedia board co-chair Omar Akbar.
Built in 1917, the Northrup King Building originally housed a seed company. These days, it’s home to over 350 artists and businesses, making it the largest art complex in the state. Artists currently working in the building include Leslie Barlow, Jennifer Chilstrom, and DC Ice, with galleries like Icebox Studios and Kolman & Pryor operating out of Northrup as well.
Transfer of the building’s operational oversight and ownership to Artspace is scheduled to be in place by the end of the year.
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