The Kuner Empson Cannery Building is listed in the National and State Registers of Historic Places, and is also listed as a Longmont Historic Landmark. In 1887 John Empson started the J. Empson and Daughter factory to can vegetables produced on Longmont area farms. The cannery was Longmont's largest employer at the turn of the century and was a prosperous contributor to its economy for eighty years.
In the mid-1980s, the then-abandoned building was converted to market-rate rental apartments. Under the federal historic preservation tax credit program, the National Park Service and the Colorado Historical Society supervised the rehabilitation.
Thistle Communities purchased The Cannery in February 2007. All 94 units are occupied by residents with certified low income: 5 units at 30 percent Area Median Income (AMI) or $24,250 for a family of three with a majority of units at 50 percent AMI or $40,350 for a family of three. The Cannery, as the complex was named, is an excellent example of the reuse of a historic structure for affordable housing.