A Retro-fit Security Entry Success 

Historic brick buildings are unique living spaces with stories held within their charm and character. The turn-of-the-century Studebaker Packard showroom and farm implement factory located on the Minneapolis North Loop is no exception. In 2003, it was transformed into what we now know of as the 801 Washington Lofts. Much of the historic character and architectural features have been retained through renovation. 

Yet historic renovations like 801 Washington Lofts face unique challenges. Among them is retro-fitting modernday access control systems into a traditional mechanicalkeyed building. These renovations can be costly, disruptive to occupants, and aesthetically challenging. It requires hard wiring and cutting into door frames to install items like electric door strikes and card readers.

The forward-thinking homeowners and board of 801 Washington Lofts embraced a completely keyless access control system for their residential facility using SALTO security entry technology. This included the perimeter entry and common areas as well as integrating the residential doors and garage entry.

SALTO has become worldwide market leaders in innovative wireless lockset solutions that make retrofitting traditional mechanical-keyed facilities like 801 Washington Lofts practical. Over three million SALTO locksets have been installed in 90 countries.

SALTO introduced the first battery-powered access control lockset and then developed a highly encrypted data on-card system that allows cards, fobs or smart phones to carry data back and forth to individual locksets. This creates a virtual network without wires or antennas.

Gittleman Construction Maintenance (GCM) Security Integrations Division, in conjunction with SALTO produced and installed a practical and future-proof integrated security solution:

  • User-friendly, intuitive solution protects client investment and simplifies integration with other building systems
  • Drastically reduces material and labor costs associated with re-keying
  • Time-based access control includes userselectable keycard access and expiration–ideal for housekeepers, dog walkers, and service personnel
  • High-security key encryption is proprietary and unique to each installation compared with keys and traditional RFID fobs that can be easily copied
  • Smart phone app allows BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) devices to function as a credential; new or updated credentials can be sent directly to a customer’s phone
  • Complete system audit trail reporting
  • All-metal, heavy-duty locksets
  • Operates over 40,000 transactions on three AA alkaline batteries and continues to operate during power or internet/network outages
  • Long Range Readers control garage door access


FirstService Residential Association Manager Jenna Mazal set up credential management protocols prior to the changeover. Gittleman technicians installed garage readers with door openers, perimeter entry door locks, common areas, homeowner’s residence locksets, and removed old hardware.


This smooth and successful partnership project was so well received that one of the homeowners installed SALTO at their business facilities. Since the 801 Washington Loft project, several FirstService Residential managed condominium associations have worked with Gittleman Construction to install SALTO security systems. Many have adopted a phased approach by converting the perimeter access and garages to SALTO with an eye on future expansion to common area and homeowner doors. Being on a common managed platform has distinct advantages for the user and manager.