Home sweet jail? Developer eyes old Duluth jail for apartments


A developer in Duluth wants to turn the city's former St. Louis County Jail into a 26-unit apartment building, the News Tribune reports.

Grant Carlson and his father and business partner, Clint Carlson, bought the building the 1924 building in 2009 for $54,000. The original plan was to market the property as commercial/office space, but they later discovered the a need for rental property in Duluth's downtown area.

“We’re shifting gears toward a multi-family housing model, and we’re exploring the idea of teaming with another developer who has more experience doing that type of project,” Carlson told the newspaper. “The property is in a very development-ready state, and we’re focused on moving forward with the project."

Mayor Don Ness praised the rental development project. “There is a real need for work force housing in our city. The rental market is really tight, especially for young professionals," he said.

Carlson says he pictures a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments. He expects the conversion would cost between $2 million and $4 million.

The jail narrowly missed the wrecking ball after the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota identified it as one of the state's 10 most endangered historic places.

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