Downtown St. Paul's historic James J. Hill Center is up for sale

Wanna own a piece of history?
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For the first time in its history and just a few months after it closed to the public, the James J. Hill Center in St. Paul is on the market.

Having originally opened as the James J. Hill Reference Library in 1921, the privately-funded nonprofit that runs the center overlooking Rice Park has struggled to remain a draw in recent years, despite efforts to expand its offering to include weddings, events, and conference space.

The building closed to the public on July 3, with the center saying it could no longer provide its free services to the public sustainably.

Located at 80th 4th St. W., it's now listed as being for sale by CBRE, though there is no price listed, with the listing saying it's "upon request" only.

Construction on the building started in 1913 and it's now on the National Historic Register, spanning more than 43,000 square feet across three stories.

A brochure that goes with the listing describes it as a "unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a world class, historic library."

CBRE also projects that the potential income from renting out its space for weddings, events etc. could reach around $730,000 per year.

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