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building our city By Andy Greder The Former Lincoln Park Middle School Now Houses Several Nonprofits – and Lincoln Park Apartments Will Open Soon W hen the Duluth Public Schools district or- chestrated its Long-Range Facilities Plan, some Duluthians felt consternation about what school closings would mean to their neighborhoods. One example was in western Duluth when the Lincoln Park Middle School closed in 2011. Would the 150,000-square-foot building sit vacant and become a blight in the neighborhood? What would come of the integral Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland residency within the school and the 600 children it serves annually? To answer those questions, the school district sought out Sherman Associates – a Minneapolis-based real estate developer that also has an office in Duluth – and many Duluth non- profit and government partners to repurpose the building with Photo courtesy of Sherman Associates 38 Duluthian january.february 2015 affordable housing units and space for nonprofit organizations. The solution: the $10 million Lincoln Park Apartments project slated for completion in March. It will include about 50 affordable units in 100,000 square feet. Seven of the apart- ment units will be for households experiencing long-term homelessness. The project will retain or create 33 jobs and increase the city’s tax base by about $65,000, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The city was helpful in encouraging this as a mixed-use facility and getting it rezoned. – Executive Director Pam Kramer, Duluth LISC