Millworks Lofts: A College Project that Hit HOME

In 2007, I was finishing my senior year at the University of St. Thomas and was hired as an intern at Dominium. Through my experience as an intern and a college competition I competed in that semester, I gained practical real estate experience that influenced my future at Dominium.

The NAIOP University Challenge is a competitive program in which students come up with development proposals for a given site and present them to a panel of judges. When I participated in the NAIOP University Challenge, the site was the historic location of Lake Street Sash & Door Company in Minneapolis. 

My team chose to propose that the site be developed into affordable housing using low-income housing tax credits. The work was influenced by my internship at Dominium, and the project was ultimately successful because I had the added knowledge and experience from my work there. We won the challenge, but never expected that our development plan would one day come to fruition.

Seven years later, I was working as a developer at Dominium and received a call from an old friend. One of my teammates in the challenge was coincidentally related to the owners of the site. He said his family was planning to sell the building, and although I wasn’t too optimistic, I brought the development idea to my colleagues at Dominium. We discovered that not only was the project feasible, it was also an excellent opportunity to rehabilitate a blighted building in a revitalized neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Dominium took on the project and the site eventually became Millworks Lofts, an affordable housing community that is remarkably similar to the development my team proposed at the NAIOP University Challenge in 2007. I am especially proud that this is the first project I led as a developer, as I had recently been promoted when the opportunity to develop the community arose.

Overseeing this project, as my vision became a reality, was a unique and rewarding experience. When I was in school I never could have imagined that the site would actually be developed into affordable housing and certainly couldn’t have imagined I’d be the one leading the project. I’m proud to work somewhere where hard work pays off and good ideas are valued. And I’m very proud that Millworks Lofts is now a place many hard-working individuals and families call home. 

Click to read more about Nick's professional growth through Dominium.