The Loveland Feed and Grain building still has more work that needs to be done, but officials on the project say it should be ready for tenants come next spring. Lucas Koski, director of property development for Artspace which is leading the project to rejuvenate the 130-year-old building, said that so far construction has gone smoothly, with the major setbacks coming from supply issues for electrical components as well as the lengthy process it took to secure the funding necessary for all the work that has been going on inside. “It was 10ish years almost of trying to find all the pieces of money that fit with the community’s vision that fit with reality,” he said. “It didn’t really click until a few years ago.”
In over a year’s time, the building has seen a drastic change inside and out. Along the north side of the building is a new entrance where the building’s boiler used to be; Koski noted this area also used to be several feet lower down, but now sits at street-level. The rentable studios sitting along the east side of the building feature a great deal of space in each and large windows along the wall, some with sliding barn doors to cover the glass if wanted. Koski said that while the residential spaces are only about half done, all of the studio spaces are ready to go. “If we were to push pause on the whole project, we would be ready to lease to new tenants today,” he said of those spaces.
On the west side of the building, work remains very much underway as crews continue to finish the nine residential units that will be available for rent. Aside from two of the units, all will include a two-story element, Koski said. While one will feature a large downstairs and a staircase leading to a series of rooms upstairs, several units along the west side of the building will allow the occupant to climb into the old grain bins, which will go from an empty space into a full room. And while the building has seen a number of upgrades and changes, much of its history still remains. From original brick to wood along the walls, the space also includes a number of pieces of heavy machinery and original signs posted on support beams and walls.
Gabe Bergeron, project architect with Ratio Design, said that the project has been unique but enjoyable. He said it has been especially interesting working on such a cultural and historical building, adding that the best way to reveal the true nature of a building is to preserve its history as you breathe new life into it. “It's almost like a dream come true,” he said.
While the project has had a long road and taken many years, Artspace has been dedicated to finishing the Loveland project even as it has worked in other communities, Koski said. “Loveland was the emphasis for that, and we wanted to make sure the vision that helped us be propelled to be active in other communities wasn’t lost,” he said.
Mary Connole, resident manager at the Artspace building just next door, said that everyone there is eager to see the building finished and ready, adding that a number of current Artspace residents have already signed up to be considered for renting a space in the Feed and Grain.
Artspace, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, has redeveloped properties across the country into affordable arts facilities. The Artspace Loveland Lofts, south of the Feed and Grain, was its first project in the city.
Connole said one of the great things about the current building and the new addition is the group of creatives living and working alongside one another, adding that with the future of this building “the sky’s the limit. “We have such an interesting mix of people and artists here at Artspace,” she said. “We have visual artists, we have musicians and writers. All kinds of people. People who are eager and excited about collaborating. It is ripe for fun stuff to happen.”
Koski said work on the project is expected to be finished early next year and residents will be able to move into the space.