Are you looking forward to 2021? I’m sure most of us cannot wait to put 2020 behind us – it has been a challenging year to say the least – lockdowns, job loss and economic stress, loss of community gatherings, our favorite restaurants and watering holes…and that’s just the beginning. At Freshwater, the close of 2020 brings one more major change – we will be relocating our Freshwater offices.
In mid-2019, Exeter, a real estate holding and development company, purchased the building at 2424 Territorial Road where we have been located for six years. Exeter also bought some adjacent properties with a goal of redeveloping the entire parcel.
The two other tenants of our building agreed to terms with Exeter and left their office spaces over the summer of 2020, and we reached an exit agreement at the end of October. We have been on the hunt for a suitable new office since then.
I am pleased to report that on or about March 1, 2021 Freshwater will be moving in to refurbished office space at the Court International Building located at the southwest corner of University Avenue and Highway 280 – just a few blocks from our current location. It’s the old Minneapolis Moline/International Harvester Building where tractors and military jeeps were built through the 20th century and the current location of the Egg and I Restaurant.
We have been busy these last six months preparing to make a move. With the uncertainty over the future of the conventional workplaces in this nine-months long work-from-home reality, I benefitted from many advisors in setting criteria for our future office needs – easy access to Both the St. Paul and Minneapolis U of MN campuses, the State Capitol, light rail transit and accessible, free parking for visitors. After much consultation with experts and Freshwater Board members, we decided that a physical office location with room for important in-person gatherings, meetings and other small events would best meet our needs. We are also transitioning the Freshwater art collection that includes incredible paintings from Dick Gray’s collection and the Freshwater Navarre Office collection to be stored and available for display at the Westonka Historical Society – watch for news of this in a coming issue of Facets.
We are busy packing up and will be all finished moving out of our current offices by 6:30 PM on New Year’s Eve. Freshwater’s office furniture, files and supplies will go to storage until we can safely move in in 2021. We are excited to welcome everyone to an open house sometime in 2021, when we can safely welcome our partners, colleagues, families and friends to a good, old-fashioned open house!
– John Linc Stine, executive director