See more of the story

Valspar Corp. will move its headquarters back to the 111-year-old building on the east side of downtown Minneapolis that it left in 2009.

In January, about 270 corporate employees will return to the former headquarters building at 3rd Street and 11th Avenue S., which underwent a $30 million renovation and reopened in June as an R&D center for the paint and coatings company. The R&D center houses 110 scientists.

The corporate office will occupy another portion of the 87,000-square-foot building. The five-story, redbrick building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places last year. It opened in 1903 as the home of the Minnesota Linseed Oil Co., a varnishes and paint manufacturer that merged with Valspar in 1970.

That former factory and office is one of four adjacent buildings that will again become an active campus for today’s Valspar.

For the past five years, Valspar has run its headquarters out of rented space in the Ameriprise Financial building at 901 3rd Av. S. in the central business district.

In contrast, the newly renovated headquarters sits in a neighborhood now filled with construction cranes, hard hats and high expectations. It is a stone’s throw from the rising Vikings stadium and just blocks from the Wells Fargo buildings going up at 3rd Street and Portland Avenue S.

Separately, new residential apartments and condos are also flourishing in downtown’s east end. Last month, developer Jim Stanton announced that he will build a 15-story condo in Elliot Park at 8th Street and Portland Avenue. Earlier this year, Stanton opened Stonebridge Lofts, a condominium building near both the Valspar building and Guthrie Theater.

Valspar workers were told about the move back to the area earlier this summer. “They are really excited about it,“ said company spokeswoman Kim Welch. “This building represents our past, present and future. It’s a great place.”

To celebrate the change, 12 company executives and 12 scientists will participate in an ice bucket challenge on the steps of the restored headquarters Thursday morning. The challenge will raise money for the ALS Association, Welch said.

In recent years, Valspar, which generates about $4 billion in global annual revenues, has benefited from the global economic recovery and the return of the U.S. housing industry. Global employment grew from about 8,700 in January 2012 to 10,500 today due in part to recent acquisitions and retail partnerships.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725