Essentia partners on restoration of long-troubled property in Duluth Medical District

August 22, 2022  By: Louie St. George

Dr. David Herman

brownstone building looking disheveled

Essentia Health is partnering with other community organizations to restore a blighted and long-troubled property in Duluth’s Medical District.

The brownstone building, originally constructed in 1899, is located on the corner of Fourth Street and Seventh Avenue East and will be called Brewery Creek Terrace. Once complete, it will feature 16 units of affordable housing — available to households at or below 80% of the area’s median income — and five units of market-rate housing.

Essentia is helping to fund the renovation with a $690,000 loan.

This section of Fourth Street is expected to one day include three affordable-housing projects that received strong support from Essentia. In addition to Brewery Creek Terrace, Essentia has donated $1.4 million to One Roof Community’s Housing Brewery Creek Apartments, on the same block. And, along with the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, Essentia is contributing land for a senior-housing development between Fourth and Fifth Avenues East.

Over the past three years, Essentia has committed more than $1.6 million to housing initiatives. Those funds have supported housing organizations that have impacted nearly 11,000 people across our service area.

CEO David C. Herman, MD, spoke at a Friday news conference announcing the collaboration. He highlighted Essentia’s commitment to supporting affordable housing in the communities we’re privileged to serve, as well as the importance of public-private partnerships.

Housing was identified as a top priority in Essentia’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment. Having a place to call home is integral to a person’s physical, emotional and mental health, Dr. Herman said, calling housing “a keystone to the health of a community” in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“We know if you don’t have housing, the likelihood you will get the diet you need, the exercise you need and the care you need is very small,” he added.

Partnering organizations include One Roof, Heirloom Property Management, Superior Choice Credit Union and the City of Duluth.

“I think that any organization or any city certainly wants to preserve its past and remember its legacy, but the most important investments we can make are in the future, because we will have a community to hand off to those that follow us,” Dr. Herman told Duluth TV station Fox 21.

To learn more about the project and Essentia’s involvement, here is a roundup of media stories:

Duluth News Tribune: Nearly $4M investment will rehab East Hillside apartment complex

Minneapolis Star Tribune: 4M investment will rehab East Hillside apartment complex

WDIO: Affordable housing planed for troubled Duluth brownstone

Fox 21: New affordable housing is currently underway in Duluth

Business North: Four Duluth entities to renovate a long-troubled property

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