Project Overview

“Preservation Design Works brought a new level of energy, urgency, and depth of multidisciplinary insight in the creation of a business plan well positioned to ensure Minnesota will be among the leaders in the emerging trend of service-based historic preservation training. The PVN team was exceptionally professional and compassionate toward all stakeholders in the process - a spirit that was a critical success factor in creating this very useful business plan.”
— David Grabitske, Minnesota Historical Society

Location: Duluth, MN

Client: Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps

Project Date: 2014

Project Scope: Business Plan Development

Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps (Northern Bedrock) is the first organization in the country to fully integrate the service corps model of young adult job training and social development with hands-on historic preservation work. Because of Northern Bedrock’s innovative business model, it was important for the organization to establish a clear and actionable business plan to guide the organization through their start-up years. Preservation Design Works (PVN) was retained by the Minnesota Historical Society to write the business plan for Northern Bedrock; the collaboration was made possible by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

PVN assembled and led an interdisciplinary project team that included Jon Commers of Donjek, Inc. and LHB. Together, the team brought expertise in business planning, historic preservation, and financial modeling to the project. In order to understand Northern Bedrock’s unique position in both the service corps and historic preservation services marketplaces, PVN guided the team through a carefully tailored research process. This process included developing a market survey and conducting in-depth interviews with organizations that may become hosts for Northern Bedrock’s future projects. Additionally, the team interviewed other service corps to develop a set of “best practices” for operating a corps organization. The team coupled the results of this research with a detailed pro forma analysis to produce the final business plan. The business plan is currently being implemented: Northern Bedrock completed its demonstration season in the fall of 2014 with its first crew – a full season of operations followed in 2015 with another underway in 2016. After six years of operation, Northern Bedrock anticipates a capacity of 10 crews working a total of 217 crew weeks per field season with an annual budget of $1.2 million.

Business plan development is just one aspect of the expertise in preservation project planning and oversight that PVN brings to all of our projects. Our unique business model, which combines planning, design, research, project management, and real estate development services equips us to create solutions for preservation challenges that are beyond the scope of more traditional historic preservation consulting firms. PVN brings innovation to the field of historic preservation.

Click here to download sample pages from the business plan.