Developer takes over 'A' Mill security

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April 26, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Co. is officially leaving the East Bank's Pillsbury "A" Mill complex at the end of January - turning over security responsibilities to the site's owner, Schafer Richardson.

The local developer has proposed a major condo project on the site - more than 1,000 units in the old flourmill and new buildings along Southeast Main Street between 3rd and 6th avenues.

ADM sold the historic mill to Schafer Richardson in 2002. Before the Illinois-based agricultural giant stopped its milling operations in 2003, the wheat flour processor was the Downtown riverfront's last working mill.

ADM has maintained a presence in the "A" Mill since ceasing operations in 2003 and made lease payments to Schafer Richardson, said David Frank, the developer's project manager.

Frank is confident the site will remain secure and said his company plans to step up security.

"The building areas are as secure as we can make them. The 'A' Mill complex has a sprinkler system and an alarm system, and those remain active," Frank said. "The police have been making and will continue to make extra patrols. Also, cooperatively with the Historical Society, we met with the Fire Department so they would know what procedures to take in a worst-case event."

The City Council voted in July to require Schafer Richardson to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the condo proposal. The EIS helps determine potential impacts on residents from the nearby University of Minnesota steam plant. The developer is also expected to address concerns raised about preserving the historic "A" Mill complex.

Frank said the EIS should be finished by mid-winter. Before construction can move forward, Schafer Richardson needs to obtain approvals from the Heritage Preservation Commission and the City Council.