Potential Buyer Emerges for Historic Old Central High School

DULUTH, Minn.– The Duluth School District has been looking into selling the Historic Old Central High School in downtown Duluth. Now, the district has announced its moved one step closer to a sale.

The developing group Saturday Properties is working to enter into a purchase agreement to buy the historic high school that’s been a fixture in downtown Duluth since 1892. With plans to keep it going for the years to come.

Saturday Properties hopes to redevelop the building into a mixed-income apartment building. Planning to fit up to 140 units. The group is based in St. Louis park in the twin cities. In the past, they’ve worked mainly on historical redevelopment projects in that area.

This will be their first project in Duluth but developers said when they first heard the building might be for sale, they jumped at the opportunity. Adding that preserving the history of the nearly 120 year old building is their first priority.

“You can hear the clock turn when you’re walking around. It is one of the most beautiful buildings that is there so being able to be a part of preserving that building so it can be enjoyed by future generations is precisely why we got involved in the project,” said Mark Laverty, Director of Development for Saturday Properties.

They are also hoping to get historic status approval from the state to help them secure tax credits that developers say is crucial for the building.

Duluth Superintendent John Magas says this has been a long process dating back to last spring. During that process, Magas said the fiscal reality of the building pointed school leaders to sell the old high school. But said they wanted its new owners to respect the historic property.

“We care so much about the building. It’s a beautiful building and it’s a part of the history of Duluth and we would never want to sell it to a developer that would not want to take care of it the way that it deserves so that it’s preserved for generations to come,” said Magas.

If the purchase goes through, Saturday Properties says the next step will be public outreach to get community input on the project’s future.

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