New partnership could give Duluth Armory major makeover

DULUTH, MN. (KBJR6) – On Monday, the Duluth Armory Arts and Music Center announced a partnership with Sherman Associates to rehabilitate the historic Duluth Armory building.

The new partnership will develop the building into a new community-centered space.

Sherman Associates, a real estate development firm will help make the nearly $25 million project possible.

Current plans for the space include a marketplace for small businesses and food vendors, office and business space, and a large-scale community kitchen.

In addition, the building will continue to house fine arts and music programs within the space.

The groups hope to fund the rehabilitation with a combination of historic tax credits, grants, and a requested $7.5 million investment from the state of Minnesota.

According to Mark Poirier, Executive Director of the Armory Arts and Music Center, the state money will allow smaller businesses to use the area.

“If we’re going to keep this project for the community, then we need to keep the mortgage payments as low as possible so that artists and business start-ups can afford it, and the only way we can do that is to get an allocation,” said Poirier.

The building, right off London Road, was built in 1915 and originally served as a military training facility.

The armory was purchased by the city in 1978, and slated for demolition in 2000, but preservation efforts were able to stall demolition.

The demolition order was recently lifted by the city.

If all goes according to plan, Poirier hopes to open the newly refurbished armory by May 2024.

Copyright 2021 KBJR6. All rights reserved.

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