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Office, 2 apts planned for tiny building on Hennepin

Updated: January 3, 2018 - 1:20 pm

New owner has a vision for the former National Camera Exchange building

The two-story building at 10th & Hennepin has been little more than an artistic backdrop for a busy bus stop in recent years. Now a new owner has a plan to update the tiny century-old structure.

Roman Gadaskin said he closed on the sale of the former National Camera Exchange building, also known as the 930 Hennepin building, in downtown Minneapolis earlier this month. The developer is proposing to build commercial space on the ground floor and two market-rate apartments on the top floor.

Gadaskin said the building will offer a unique living experience compared to downtown’s various large-scale apartment communities. It also presented a rare opportunity for a developer.

“You can be very creative in there. You can really do something to the space,” he said.

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File image

The 1919 building, once the home of M.L. Novack Diamonds, and a neighboring bar are surrounded by the Orpheum Theatre. In recent years, the Hennepin Theatre Trust, which owns and operates the theater, has filled its windows with art as part of Made Here, its initiative to program vacant spaces downtown.

The building, which has sat empty for years, boasts a billboard and a Pop Art-style mural from local artist Greg Gossel that he painted in 2015.

Gadaskin is proposing a pair of two-bedroom units on the top floor. The ground floor would offer roughly 1,550-square-foot commercial space for an office tenant, but he said it could draw a bar or retail tenant.

Gadaskin said he isn’t sure what’s possible in the 1,800 square feet outside the building. The perimeter is paved and has been used for trucks bringing in equipment to the Orpheum.

CPEC Exchange 41823, an LLC associated with Minneapolis-based Commercial Partners Exchange Co., paid $300,000 for the building, according to a certificate of real estate value filed in Hennepin County.

This isn’t the first small-scale conversion project the developer has proposed. Gadaskin purchased and renovated the Coe Mansion in the Stevens Square neighborhood into apartments.

The developer has proposed renovating downtown’s Lakeland Building, a four-story building built in 1885.