- Associated Press - Saturday, June 28, 2014

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Apartments for aspiring artists have opened in Minot, located in the first new building constructed in the city’s downtown sector in nearly 30 years.

Organizers at the grand opening of the Artspace Lofts in Minot, which will house 34 apartment units and several businesses, told the Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/Vw735Z ) Friday the completion of the $9.4 million project has been a long time coming.

“We never gave up, but we never knew if we would get the financing together for it,” said Minot resident Orlin Backes, who chairs the Artspace Advisory Committee.

The idea for the lofts, which will provide affordable housing to aspiring artists and will also showcase local art-related programs, was first proposed more than a decade ago. Minot residents have been working with Artspace, a national nonprofit that has completed 35 projects and 1,500 affordable units for artists and their families.

And now that’s it open, officials hope the Artspace residents can affect downtown Minot.

“Affordable housing is a gift to the community. We ask the artist residents to think about that and ask them what they are going to give back,” said Stacy Mickelson, vice president of government relations for Artspace in Minneapolis. “It’s larger than this building. We ask them to be sure to spill out and give back to the community that gave you this gift.”

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

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