Sandstone School Workforce Housing

Project Type: Multifamily
Name of Developer: Jillpine
Developer Point of Contact Name: Meghan Elliott
Point of Contact Email: meghan@jillpine.com
Contact Phone: (612) 501-6832
Project Address: 501 North Court Avenue, Sandstone, MN 55072
Number of Units: 31
Building Type: Apartment Building
Owner Type: Rental

Brief Description: The historic Sandstone School will be redeveloped as much-needed workforce housing. The City of Sandstone EDA (“City EDA”) is working closely with Meghan Elliott of Jillpine (real estate developer) to complete the project. The 3.0-acre Sandstone School property has a rich history: construction started in 1901, using sandstone blocks that were quarried at the nearby historic Kettle River Sandstone Co Quarry. In 1909, the building “burned to the ground” – but by 1910, the School District had re-invested in the property and doubled the size of the school. Three additions were completed in the 1930s, 40s and 60s to support growing needs. The property served as the local school until 2004 when the School District relocated and consolidated their school operations to a new campus. The school site has been the “heart” of the community since 1901. 

Now, the 39,000-sq ft Sandstone School will create 31 units of workforce housing, including two studio units, 10 one-bedroom, and 19 two-bedroom apartments. The generous unit size and layout are based on the historic building configuration, and units range from 600-950 sq ft. Rent levels will be between 60-80% area median income (AMI). The building will be leased and managed by Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures (MLCV), the largest employer in Pine County. MLCV, a tribal entity, has expertise in real estate development, housing, and property management, and is collaborating with Jillpine on the development and operation of the building. 

The Sandstone School redevelopment will be done in three phases: Stabilization (Phase A), Workforce Housing (Phase B), and the Sandstone History and Art Center (Phase C). Phase A includes significant abatement of hazardous materials, repair and replacement of the roof, and demolition of the non-historic one-story addition. Phase B is the conversion of the classroom portions of the building to workforce housing. And, Phase C is the reuse of the auditorium addition for the existing Sandstone History and Art Center (SHAAC). Funding for Phase A has been 100% committed, and construction is in progress and scheduled to be completed by December 2024. Construction for Phases B and C is scheduled to begin in January 2025, for resident move-in in May 2026.