Politics and Government

Have a home fit for a governor? Walz may be calling

The state has begun a search for a temporary home for Gov. Tim Walz and his family while the governor's residence undergoes renovations.
Brian Bakst | MPR News

Wanted: Housing for Minnesota’s governor and family in the Twin Cities or nearby. Must be “suitable living quarters” and available for “official ceremonial functions of the state,” as required by state law.

Security features expected. Twelve-month lease preferred, with an option for monthly extensions. Must allow pets, including a feisty cat called Afton and a rambunctious dog named Scout.

The Department of Administration began its formal search Tuesday for temporary living space for Gov. Tim Walz and the first family. Their displacement from the Summit Avenue residence looms as an extended rehabilitation project proceeds.

A 17-point request for information was circulated by the Office of Real Estate and Construction Services. It is seeking potential properties in Minneapolis, St. Paul or adjacent communities for the Walz family to move into. The office hopes to attract submissions by the end of February. The rental must be available starting in June.

Gov. Tim Walz's dog, Scout
Gov. Tim Walz's new dog, Scout, sits in the yard of the governor's residence on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.
Briana Bierschbach | MPR News

As for the construction project, three potential project managers submitted proposals to manage the multi-million dollar fix-up by a Wednesday deadline, according to the state agency. The renovation aims to address outdated plumbing, exterior flaws and security concerns. It’s due to start later this year and cost up to $6.3 million.

The money for the construction work and related costs is due to come out of a special asset preservation account that gives the commissioner latitude to pick projects. Prior attempts to secure financing through the Legislature have gotten hung up.

Because the work will be disruptive, Walz and his family will be relocated for all or part of the construction, which is expected to conclude by September 2024

The 110-year-old Tudor mansion was donated by a lumber baron’s family in 1965. It has been a home to 10 governors and their families. While some prior governors have maintained a private residence, the Walz family home in Mankato was sold during his first term.