The historic Casket Building on University Building was purchased in 2019 with the goal of redeveloping the property into an affordable housing building. The St. Paul Casket Company located at 1222 University Ave in St. Paul, was the most significant casket manufacturer in Minnesota for almost 30 years. Built in 1922, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2021 and is one of the few remaining art-Deco style buildings in the area. It has open floor areas, terrazzo floors, a spiral staircase with ornate railings, mushroom cap columns, and the prominent 104-foot tall central tower that houses a water tank and clock face University Ave.

The 4-story building was purchased in 2019 by JB Vang Partners with the goal of renovating the property into an affordable housing development. The team preserved the historic integrity of the building, navigated severely compromised finish issues to create a new 55-unit multifamily apartment development utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and Historic Tax Credits (HTC).

The building is an ideal candidate for historic preservation and redevelopment as its reinforced concrete structure provides a solid basis for rehabilitation, with little major restoration required to the foundational components of the building.

The team took on the challenge of converting and dividing the open manufacturing floors into unique one and two-bedroom apartments. The factory-installed windows were restored, or matching replacements installed, inviting ample daylight into apartments. Early on, the decision was made to refinish the exterior to its original style to pay homage to its 1920s appearance, by painting it white and painting window and door details black.