Lofts on tap at Schmidt Brewery

  • Article by: KEVIN DUCHSCHERE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 17, 2012 - 6:56 AM

A Plymouth-based developer plans nearly 250 rental units for artists at the St. Paul landmark by 2014.

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punky2012Nov. 16, 1210:25 PM

Has the city of St. Paul had any development in the past few years that was not subsidized by the city government? It doesn't look like it.

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MNGrampsNov. 16, 1211:43 PM

1910: Jacob and his wife lived across 7th avenue and could walk under the street through a tunnel into the rathskellar. The brewers and bottlers worked 7 days a week and 16 hours per day during the warm weather for 50 cents per hour. Teenagers worked for 25 cents per hour until of age to get a raise. Beer was delivered by horse and trailer. During the winter months notations would be made in the ledger such as, "no beer deliveries today, too cold. In 1911, the ledger contained the entry,"No bottling today, Jacob Schmidt's funeral". One year later, " No bottling today, Mrs. Schmidt's funeral". The history around the Jacob Schmidt Brewery is important and needs to be preserved. When built, caves had to be dug to keep beer kegs cool. Mules were used to dig with large drag shovels. Mules would willingly go down wooden stairs, but would not go up. Therefore they worked until no longer useful and then were killed to be hauled out. Where is this history preserved?

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margeanncullenNov. 16, 1211:43 PM

Punky I think that is better than empty doing nothing buildings. It will produce business and homes which will bring money to the area businesses and tax base. What would you suggest?

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falcon1681Nov. 17, 1212:34 AM

In 96 I was home on leave and a friend and I volunteered to go with a city crew he worked with to the old brewery and help clean up the grounds. He was told then that a company had bought the brewery and planned on renovating it for high end apartments. Didn't happen then I guess. But something needs to be done with the site. The longer the buildings sit the more decayed they become. Same thing happened to the buildings at Fort Snelling. They were left empty for decades with not even the most basic of care. Now they're slowly falling apart into piles of old brick. Sad that we just ignore our history like that.

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parn0015Nov. 17, 12 1:37 AM

So, the plan is to spend $123 million to create 247 loft units? I don't really see how $500,000 lofts are "affordable housing" or that there is any kind of market in St. Paul for that kind of housing right now. Maybe run those numbers again...

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samiamNov. 17, 12 7:16 AM

Thats cool but I was hoping that someone would turn it into an active brewery. I hope they keep selling the water from the well at least.

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RossbergNov. 17, 12 7:19 AM

@MNGramps - I hope you were fortunate enough to have seen a show on the Travel Channel back in August called Off Limits. This particular episode was about "forgotten" places in the Twin Cities. A large part of the show was recorded in almost never seen areas of the brewery which dated back to its original construction. Since almost all of those historical areas are underneath the current brewery buildings and are not easily accessible I hope they won't be lost forever but at least a photo record now exists. You can try looking for the show on the Travel Channel's web site.

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biasedmediaNov. 17, 12 7:31 AM

I really like the character of old buildings and their history. At some point, the public has to move on though when the $$ don't make since. $500,000 a unit is what they are putting into this for 247 affordable units. This should be 615 units at $200,000 a unit. Sometimes demolishing old buildings is the best use...

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antisuburbsNov. 17, 1210:36 AM

@biasedmedia. You strike me as someone who would be OK with our entire city being demolished and replaced with eden-prairie cul-de-sacs and cookie-cutter townhomes with large parking lots. We have to keep our history intact!

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brokenartMar. 31, 14 4:12 PM

If you're thinking about trying to move into this place with a section 8 voucher, think again. Dominium nudged the prices of the "low income" units 7 dollars out of range of the (HUD) living standard (including Utility Allowance). Even if you have the extra $7 to spend a month to pay for your unit, Dominium won't allow it. It's not like housing discrimination exists in Minnesota. It's kind of a strange irony to be too poor to be able to afford low income housing. Sadly this is common amidst many of the so called "affordable" Artist live/work spaces in the Twin cities. So if you're poor and disabled, you can't live here. On the bright side, Dominium got the grants to say that they are "low income".

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