New ‘jailhouse apartments’ slated to open up in January

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:12 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN -- The old St. Louis County Jailhouse is being transformed into a brand new apartment building, scheduled to open up early next year.

The complex will be called Leijona and will be a mixed-income complex with studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments.

“There’s a lot of good reasons to reuse this building,” said Meghan Elliott, a developing partner at Leijona.

The building has been vacant since 1995 and was purchased for development last year.

Elliott says she and her consulting firm, New History take a special interest in developing historic buildings like the jailhouse.

“We focus on increasing the use of those buildings. So in Minnesota now we’ve done about 300 projects in about 50 different cities,” she said.

Elliott believes these buildings have too much beauty within their walls to simply sit vacantly.

“I think these buildings have a story that they tell, but they also make the space where the next stories are told,” she said.

Each unit looks a bit different, using space once occupied by everything from the Warden’s office to the cells themselves.

Remnants of the cells are also part of the units, including metal bars and historically accurate wiring and piping.

The units are scheduled to open in January and are leasing now.

You can learn more on the complex’s website.