MINNEAPOLIS-The local architectural firm Hammel Green & Abrahamson is close to signing a deal to lease the former Litin Paper Building, a 130,000-sf office building in Downtown Minneapolis.

HGA hopes to consolidate its 400 employees at the new site, who are now spread out over three locations, says Steve Fiskum, chief operating officer of HGA. The building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is a seven-story concrete frame warehouse that will be completely gutted and remodeled for the architectural firm. “We are attracted to an older building like this because of the character of the workplace that can be achieved with the higher ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows,” Fiskum says. “It’s conducive to the kind of creative environment we want to establish.”

Fiskum also says it was important for his firm to be near the Downtown Minneapolis business district. The Litin building, which was recently bought by Ken Sherman of Minneapolis-based Sherman Group, is located at 701 Washington Ave. N. It’s market value is listed on the Hennepin County tax roles at $1.79 million. The 90-year old building originally housed a bakery.

HGA now works out of International Market Square and two other buildings on Harmon Place and Harmon Court. Fiskum says he expects to finalize the lease details later this month. He declined to discuss the terms of the lease.

Fiskum expects that the building would be ready to move into in the spring of 2001. Litin Paper, the company that formerly occupied the building, will move to a 100,000-sf office-warehouse at 3003 Pacific in Minneapolis, which it recently bought.

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