James J. Hill Reference Library buyer has a creative touch
The historic James J. Hill Reference Library in downtown St. Paul has been purchased by a developer who's planning to renovate the building.
Driving the news: The library board of directors' sale to Peter Remes, who owns the development firm First & First, closed Tuesday.
- The board has been trying to sell its half of the century-old building since 2019, due to financial losses.
Why it matters: Remes is a creative real estate developer whose past projects have been major hits.
- He redeveloped St. Paul's Vandalia Tower, a complex that is now home to Lake Monster Brewing.
- Remes took an ice warehouse on Nicollet Avenue and turned it into a rock climbing gym and The Icehouse restaurant/music venue.
- He turned an old warehouse in the North Loop into the Aria event center, a popular wedding and corporate event venue.
The details: Remes said he may pursue historic tax credits for the St. Paul renovation and he wants "to be completely respectful to the grandeur and the architecture of the Hill Library."
- The building will be used primarily as an event center, with a focus on arts and culture, he said. It'll also host wedding and corporate events.
Of note: Only the Hill Library part of the building was sold. The other side of the building will remain the George Latimer Central Library.
More Twin Cities stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Twin Cities.