ST. PAUL-Central Community Housing Trust plans to renovate the 100-year-old Crane Ordway warehouse Downtown to create 61 units of affordable housing. The 17-year-old Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization is planning a $9.4-million renovation of the historic, vacant warehouse at Fifth and Wall streets in the Lowertown area.

There would be 61 housing units on the top four levels, with office space and other uses on the lower two floors. The agency, which has an option to buy the 100-year-old building, plans to close the deal by year’s end. The project is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Completed in 1904, the building is part of St. Paul’s Lowertown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designed by the renowned Reed & Stem architecture firm, which also designed the St. Paul Hotel here and Grand Central Station in New York City. The building has been vacant for 30 years.

“This plan aligns with the city’s goals to ensure housing for all income levels,” says CCHT senior project manager Kirk Moorhead. The 36 efficiencies and 25 one-bedroom apartments will serve people earning 30% to 50% of the area median income. The building will also provide about 10,500 sf of commercial space.

The project is CCHT’s first in St. Paul. The organization has created 1,200 units of housing, mostly in Central Minneapolis neighborhoods. Last year, CCHT extended its geographic reach to include the entire Twin Cities Metro Area.

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