Historic Grain Belt Beer sign up for saleby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — The historic Grain Belt beer sign may once again shine across the Mississippi River.
Heirs of the William Eastman family, the owners of the large Minneapolis landmark, are looking for buyer interested in repairing and re-lighting the sign.
"It's part of the fabric of who the city is," said real estate agent Garfield Clark.
The Minneapolis Brewing Company, the creator of Grain Belt Beer, originally leased the site from the Eastman family over 60 years ago. The original rent was $1,000 per month, plus 50 cents per barrel of beer.
But in the past several years, the sign's red neon lights have been dark, and the sign has fallen into disrepair.
The sale includes the 200-by-75-foot site the sign occupies on Nicollet Island. Clark said the buyer will need to keep the sign in its current location, and will need to invest several hundred thousand dollars in repairs.
"So we have to have some altruism here," Clark said.
The back of the sign could be used as a commercial billboard to help recoup the restoration expenses, he said. The purchase price has not been determined.
- All Things Considered, 10/02/2009, 4:58 p.m.