The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plans to move its central corporation offices to the 3M Company’s former headquarters in St. Paul. The archdiocese signed a lease Feb. 29 for the 75,000 square foot building in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood, northeast of downtown.
Built in 1939, the building at 777 N. Forest St. served as 3M’s headquarters from 1940-1962. It is part of the Beacon Bluff Business Park, which is under development by the St. Paul Port Authority. The St. Paul-based developer Exeter Group owns the building. The lease is subject to bankruptcy court approval, and its terms with renovation costs are also subject to archdiocesan and landlord approval. The archdiocese, which has 140 employees, does not expect to finalize anticipated renovation costs until mid-May.
In an email to archdiocesan employees, Father Charles Lachowitzer, the archdiocese’s moderator of the curia, said he expects the central corporation will move to its new offices in late fall. Archdiocesan leaders have been searching for new offices for more than a year.
“It is expected that this will be the new home for the archdiocese for at least the next 10 years,” he said. “We are very excited about the new space, and particularly about the opportunity to have all of our staff under one roof.”
The new site is about 3 miles from the archdiocese’s current headquarters, three buildings adjacent to the Cathedral of St. Paul. The archdiocese is in the process of selling the buildings. The Minnesota Historical Society bought the Monsignor Ambrose Hayden Center in November, and bids are being taken on the chancery and archbishop’s residence through March 18. Also for sale is the Dayton Building behind the cathedral on Dayton Avenue.
The archdiocese announced the buildings’ sale in May 2015, five months after filing for Chapter 11 Reorganization in response to mounting claims of clergy sexual abuse against it.