Aria Event Venue Changes Hands
A scene from Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Fashionopolis event in 2019 Photo by Caitlin Abrams for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Aria Event Venue Changes Hands

The North Loop venue has been sold to a church based in Apple Valley. The loss “will be felt” in the neighborhood, says developer Peter Remes.

There won’t be any more corporate events, concerts, or Super Bowl parties at the Aria after 2022: The popular North Loop event venue will soon transform into a place of worship.

The River Valley Church of Apple Valley has purchased the Aria for $10 million, according to a real estate sales document made public last week.

Twin Cities developer Peter Remes spearheaded the development of the Aria more than a decade ago. In 2010, he purchased the building for nearly $900,000. He declined to share details about the latest purchase. The sales document lists the seller as “100-105 1st Avenue North, LLC.”

“I’m very proud of the legacy of Aria and all the creative endeavors we hosted there,” Remes said. “The legacy, I think, is unmatched.” The loss of the venue, he said, “will be felt” in the neighborhood.

In an Instagram post, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine editor-in-chief Jayne Haugen Olson thanked Remes for hosting a number of events at the venue, including the magazine’s “Fashionopolis” fashion show.

But there are no immediate plans to relocate the Aria, Remes said. For now, his focus is across the river: Over the summer, his firm First & First acquired the Hill Library in downtown St. Paul. “We are planning for the renovation of that building in the near term,” Remes said.

First & First’s former office on the fourth floor of Aria has already relocated to Northeast Minneapolis. The firm now keeps an office in the same building that houses its Lucky Shots Pickleball Club, Remes said.

As a result of the sale, the Aria is “foregoing any additional bookings,” according to its website. “We are looking forward to making the events we already have on the calendar our best yet and plan to finish the year on a high note.”

River Valley Church had been leasing space at the Aria for three years. “The parties knew each other because the buyer used part of the building under the license agreement,” according to the certificate of real estate value filed with the state. “Buyer approached the seller about buying the property.”

Since its opening, Aria has played host to dozens of cultural events. The space has been used for everything from Super Bowl parties to fashion shows. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, which is published by the same parent company as TCB, has hosted its Fashionopolis fashion show at the space for seven years. The magazine intends to continue the event at a new venue this year.

For its part, River Valley Church has been adding more members – and locations – over the years. The church, which has about 10,000 members today, operates nine locations in the Twin Cities.

Before either Aria or the church set up shop in the space, it was home to famed theater company Theatre de la Jeune Lune, which earned a Tony award for best regional theater in 2005. The company went into bankruptcy after the recession in 2008.