Bittersweet news for Pillsbury A Mill Planning
Thursday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune carried an article about new plans for apartment developments at the National Historic Landmark Pillsbury A Mill, on the east side of the river in the Central Riverfront District.
This is bittersweet news in my opinion. Certainly redevelopment of the structure into apartments at varying price points is good news.
But it’s a real shame that Schafer-Richardson Inc., which had worked for years to develop the property, won’t be leading the way.
Kit Richardson has always been my example of “not all developers are like that” when colleagues start venting with the standard view of developers as short-term thinkers, motivated only by short-term profits. Richardson’s project, East Bank Mills, was underway for about seven years, and could serve as a great case study of community engagement, collaboration with multiple agencies, and historic preservation interests, and a visionary sense of how a project could utilize the existing water power running through the mill building’s basement as a source of heating and cooling for millions of square feet of developed space.
East Banks Mills would have been community development in the best sense of the word, I believe, and I hope Richardson and his team will have a voice in the property’s future.