Historic St. Paul Building Renovated for Affordable Housing

Friday, June 24th, 2022

Developer JB Vang Partners is transforming a former 1920s commercial building into a much-needed affordable housing option.

The building at 1222 University Avenue in St. Paul, Minn., which been vacant for many years, was issued a building permit to transform the space into affordable housing.

The apartments will be called Twelve22, and the development will include 15 deeply affordable units at 30% of Area Median Income (AMI) and 40 units affordable at 60% of AMI. These units will remain affordable through a 50-year commitment.

“Today’s action is an important step in our commitment to create more equality affordable housing in Saint Paul,” sad Tara Beard, the City of St. Paul’s Housing Director.

The building was initially constructed in 1922 for the St. Paul Casket Co.,  the most significant casket manufacturer in Minnesota for almost 30 years. The building is an example of vertical manufacturing, as each floor supported a step in the casket manufacturing process.

Original Architect Allen H. Stem used many Modern Gothic details in the design; in April of 2021 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The building is on University Avenue along the Light Rail Green Line between the Hamline Avenue and Lexington Parkway stations.

Learn more about the development in articles from the St. Paul Business Journal and Pioneer Press, as well as an announcement from the City of St. Paul.


  • Owner & Developer: JB Vang Partners
  • Contractor: Frerichs Construction
  • Architect & Interior Designer: Pope Design Group
  • Structural: Nelson-Rudie Associates
  • MEP Engineer: Emanuelson-Podas
  • Civil Engineer & Landscape Architect: Larson Engineering
  • Historical: Landscape Research LLC
  • Affordable Housing Consultant: Landon Group
  • Environmental: Vieau Associates