Mayor Rybak celebrates BLU DOT Expansion in Northeast Minneapolis
October 8, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS)— Mayor R.T. Rybak joined BLU DOT Design and Manufacturing, Inc. to celebrate its expansion and relocation into Crown Center at 1331 Tyler Street NE. Recently renovated and rehabilitated, the building was once a steel fabrication facility where World War II B-26 wings were made, and extensive environmental contamination deterred reinvestment and rehabilitation.
The space attracted nationally renowned Minneapolis–based BLU DOT, which has won numerous awards, and whose work has been exhibited in several museums, including the Walker Art Museum. The company has 60 employees nationwide; 30 work at the headquarters in Minneapolis.
"When we first saw this space, we were amazed," said Maurice Blanks, co-founder, BLU DOT. "The volume of the space and the natural light were incredible. And the old industrial construction has such great character – simple, humble, but still really beautiful. We wanted to stay in Northeast, and coincidentally we are just a block away from our very first location, where we started the business twelve years ago. This new space is the perfect launching pad for the next phase of our growth."
BLU DOT’s expansion is a testament to the importance of funding economic development projects for future employment opportunities for Minneapolitans – particularly during economically challenging times. "BLU DOT creates jobs and creates beauty," Mayor R.T. Rybak said. "We need a lot of both these days."
"Hillcrest is delighted to have BLU DOT Furniture in Crown Center" said Scott Tankenoff, Managing Partner, Hillcrest Development, LLLP. "BLU DOT fits perfectly with the creative and office uses at the property. This addition is a fantastic commitment to our neighborhood, and our efforts to revitalize creative business and commerce in the city of Minneapolis."
The City worked with Hillcrest Development, LLLP and its partners to identify potential funding sources and craft competitive grant applications, resulting in five grants awards, totaling more than $1.6 million. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County funded contamination site clean-up.
As Mayor Rybak said when the Crown Center opened, "The Crown Center project demonstrates the positive results that can be realized when city, county, regional and state governments cooperate with developers to create jobs, attract companies, and help business access top talent."
About BLU DOT
BLU DOT Design and Manufacturing, Inc. began in 1997 to design and manufacture furniture for everyday people with everyday needs. Founded by John Christakos, Maurice Blanks and Charlie Lazor, BLU DOT has received several awards, and its work has been exhibited in several museums, published in design books and periodicals.
About Hillcrest Development, LLLP
Hillcrest Development, LLLP was founded in 1948 and is now a third generation company specializing in commercial renovation to suit its clients' facility needs for office, hi-tech, biotechnology-medical research, light assembly, warehousing, manufacturing, and other commercial purposes. All of the projects (over seventy to date) have been fully designed, developed, built, leased, managed, and owned by Hillcrest. Hillcrest has its own internal construction, leasing, accounting and management groups. Crown Center is a 100,000 square-foot redevelopment offering office, medical technology, warehouse and industrial space. Information on the project can be found at www.hillcrestdevelopment.com.
Published Oct. 8, 2009