If a proposal to renovate the vintage
in Northeast Minneapolis “pencils out,” financially, local developer Andrew Volna could make an offer on it within the coming weeks.
For the moment, the theater’s future is still up in the air.
Volna, of Noisland Industries
and Apiary Workspaces,
is working with Meghan Elliott, an engineer whose company is Preservation Design Works
, to come up with a plan to buy the city-owned building.
They sought feedback from community members at a Sept. 10 public meeting with the Audubon Neighborhood Association
at the Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
Right now, they’re still doing their due diligence to figure out whether a rehab project is doable, he says.
However, they wanted to gauge the neighborhood’s response before moving forward.
“It will be an extremely expensive project to do,” Volna says. This has partly to do with the fact that it’s an historic building that comes along with preservation requirements.
At the same time, “There’s significant damage to the inside of the building,” he says, adding, “It’s a theater on the outside only.”
Although it’s unclear what kind of tenant would go into the building, “I’ve always thought of something in the creative industry that would benefit from the unique features"--features that include a large open space and Art Deco design elements.
At the meeting, people were receptive to the idea. “It would be a huge net gain for 29th and Johnson," he says. "The commercial node is stuck until the south end of the block gets dealt with.” In his view, “It could bring business to the area, and bring the south end back to life.”
However, because of the unknowns, he's proceeding with caution, Volna says.
Source: Andrew Volna, Noiseland Industries
Writer: Anna Pratt