Innovative New Model for Employee Housing: Leijona in Duluth

The Northland’s workforce shortage is closely linked to the region’s housing shortage. People can’t accept job offers if they can’t find a place to live!

Leijona, a new development which has transformed downtown Duluth’s historic St. Louis County Jail building into modern apartments, is testing a new housing model which could provide a solution to help ease the hiring crunch for area employers. 

Leijona is currently leasing and open to exploring partnerships with employers to find short-term and long-term housing solutions for new hires as well as existing employees. Leijona is already in talks with several employers and welcomes inquiries from others interested. 

Here’s a quick Q&A with more details:

Q: How many units are available? 

A: There are 33 total units and the building is not yet fully leased. 

Q: What does rent cost? 

A: Leijona is a mixed-income housing option. Some units will be available for qualified tenants earning 60-70% of the area median income. Rent ranges between $895 and market rates of $1,915 a month.

Q: What type of units are available? 

A: There are studios, one bedroom units, and two bedroom units—all with kitchens, private bathrooms, and historic details.

Q: What types of employers are eligible to partner with Leijona? 

A: All employers (different sizes, stages, industries) are eligible and invited to learn more. 

Q: What’s the cost structure? Can employers pay a portion of rent?

A: Leijona is open to discussing the details and working with you to customize a plan to fit your hiring needs.

For more info, reach out to Brian Stephenson, vice president of Alta Via Consulting, at (651) 249-6291 or You can also learn more on the Leijona website and check out features on Leijona from the Duluth News Tribune and WDIO.

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