Developer will add 22 apartments to Tropix building

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June 14, 2004 // UPDATED 2:04 pm - April 25, 2007
By: ah McKenzie
ah McKenzie

Architects plan to renovate the Crane Building, 400-404 3rd Ave. N., to make way for more loft-style apartments.

The four-story North Loop building near the freeway entrance to Interstate-394 is home to the nightclub Tropix Beach Club.

A project architect, Dan Cayemberg, who works for AJP Architects, 119 N. 4th St., said the renovations would be limited to the warehouse's interior. There are plans for 22 new apartments on three floors in the building. Currently, the building has six rental units.

The new apartments will be roughly 1,000 square feet each, he said. Rent will average $900 to $1,000 a month, said building owner John Osterbauer.

The apartments should be available by mid-fall, Osterbauer said.

In a couple years, Osterbauer plans to reevaluate whether Tropix is a good fit for the building. He said he has had discussions with the nightclub owner David Kabanuk about the bar relocating when its lease expires in two years.

Osterbauer has owned the building since 1982. He used to run a bicycle wholesale business called Bauer Cycle Supply out of the warehouse.

The Crane Building has two structures -- one was built in 1885, the other in 1895. It first housed a regional plumbing distributor, according to records maintained by the city's Heritage Preservation Commission.

The building features Romanesque Revival architecture with brick and stone pilasters, which are rectangular columns that protrude slightly from the building.