Board of Trade Building Project Includes Apartments

Updated: July 09, 2019 06:31 PM

The Board of Trade building on First Street in downtown Duluth is going to have new life. A development group plans on turning the middle floors into 84 apartments.

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The Dubin Guru Group, based in Illinois, shared more at a meeting on Tuesday at City Hall. They specialize in adaptive reuse of older buildings, and are planning for upgrades.The Board of Trade Building is their first project in Duluth.

"There's no shortage of character. Somebody asked me if we've done a building like this before. This is a unique building," David Dubin shared. He's one of the partners.

Guru Naganat, another partner in the group, said, "This is very exciting. This is the time when your back office designs and plans all come to fruition, and you meet a lot of people in the community."

The apartments will start at $750 for a studio, up to $1200 for a two bedroom. But there will be 17 set aside for people who make less than 50% of the median income in Duluth. "They will pay less, as stiuplated by the government," Naganat explained. That's part of the deal to get Tax Increment Financing from the city.

The plan is to find more tenants to lease the first and second floors. Over a dozen currently rent there, including Hustle + Heart, a salon on the second floor. "The building needs a facelift, but it's gorgeous. We wanted to be downtown, with tall ceilings and big windows. And you can't get that with new construction," co-founder Jessica Mattevi said.

She and the other co-founder, Sam Nelson, do have some concerns about security and parking. But they are also excited to see what's to come. Nelson told us, "There's huge potential. We're excited to see new faces, and meet new people, and build community here."

Built in 1895, the Board of Trade was designed by one of Duluth's most renowned architects, Oliver Traphagen.

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