The renovation of 1400 Van Buren was Peter Remes' first adaptive reuse project. He acquired the building in 2007 and quickly got to work restoring the structure and renovating every surface of the building. Through this project, First & First was born. The property's original features were hidden under years of sheetrock and stucco. The yellow stucco exterior was removed to highlight the original brick exterior complete with old painted ghost signs of businesses that once called the building their home. The interior was stripped down to the original brick and timber structure and hardwood floors. The result is a stunning light-filled space that has attracted an amazing collection of creative-class businesses.
Just after the turn of the century and during the construction boom of the early 1900s, the original part of 1400 Van Buren was constructed using brick and timber framing and wide plank floors. Over the last century, the building has been home to a variety of businesses and industries, including a printing company and a manufacturer of fabric window treatments. Over the past 30 years, artists have revitalized our Northeast community. Recognizing the significant impact the arts were having on this part of the city, in 2003, the city of Minneapolis officially designated this area of Minneapolis as the “Northeast Minneapolis Arts District."