When Michael Pinchback had a chance to purchase a North Loop condo from a friend, he nabbed it. Not only was it a top-floor loft unit with a private rooftop balcony, but there was much to admire about the building.
“It’s a very cool [residential loft] conversion and one of the first conversions in the city,” Pinchback said. “It has a very industrial aesthetic reminiscent of New York SoHo lofts.”
The building on Washington Avenue N. in Minneapolis has had many iterations over its lifetime, including as a Buick showroom and later a freezer manufacturing plant, according to the North Loop Neighborhood Association’s website.
In 2001, the three-story building was converted into residential units by architect Garth Rockcastle. The design included one of the first live-work units in the neighborhood.
Pinchback was impressed with the building, originally built in the early 1900s and now called 801 Washington Lofts, as soon as he walked through the doors.
“It’s hard to anticipate what you’re going to see when you walk in, based on what you see from the exterior” of the square brick building, he said. “There’s a vast open space. It opens up to skylights and is almost like an atrium. There’s art on the walls. It’s awe-inspiring.”
He also liked that no two residences were alike. “It’s not a cookie-cutter, whereas some conversions tend to have the same look. That’s definitely not true at 801. All units tend to be refined in such a way to appease each of the owners.”
Making it one’s own
When Pinchback moved in, he wanted to personalize his space, as well.
Pinchback brought in Christopher Strom Architects and custom builder Streeter & Associates to do a $300,000 renovation on his third-floor space.
The renovation was in keeping with the industrial design by Rockcastle (who lives in the building), but updated the space and introduced custom details to fit Pinchback’s style,
“He used a lot of metals, black metals, that are in the building in things like the railings. There’s the use of landings,” Pinchback said. “The original themes that are from the building, we tried to match and accent. I continued the maple flooring throughout the unit.”
The kitchen got an upgrade with custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Custom light fixtures imported from Spain and Holland were installed.
The bathroom off the primary bedroom received star treatment with marble flooring and a spa-like walk-in shower. A walk-in closet off the main bedroom was also added. Pinchback also had the stairway moved from the middle of the unit off to the side.
Sign of the times
Almost seven years later, Pinchback is ready to pass the baton to someone looking to live in a building with a storied history in the heart of the North Loop. He’s selling his two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,000-square-foot condo.
“My priorities since the pandemic have really changed. It makes me want to do some of the things that I always thought about doing and maybe not be tied down to one city,” he said.
In addition to a condo with modern amenities, a buyer might also like the several perks that come with living in the building, Pinchback said. In addition to the private rooftop deck, there’s a community rooftop space, as well.
On the ground level, there’s a courtyard with green space and a grilling and seating area with a pergola. Quarterly art shows are held to spotlight local artists.
Listing agent Adam Pachkofsky said the building and neighborhood couldn’t complement each other more.
“The building is iconic. It’s a New York-style loft in the heart of Minneapolis with soaring ceilings, exposed brick, hardwood floors,” he said. “And it’s close to all these shops and the most popular restaurants in town.”