Commercial Property & Real Estate News

Alternate Income for Commercial Real Estate InvestorsBusiness incubators and non-profit consortiums are big news in some parts of the country these days. If such ideas haven't yet come to any one area, they may be headed that direction, often with the blessing and support of local governments, schools and the public.

Municipalities from Santa Fe to small Texas towns and midwestern farming communities are supportive of a variety of "do-good" ideas. Fledgling enterprises are often able to tap into support funds that allow them to lease space for initial start-up activities. Why not explore local opportunities for local commercial real estate?

Take the Lead

For individuals who currently have empty property that would make good rental space for a cash-strapped enterprise or a group of small

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Temporary Use of Retail Space Can Bring Additional Income to InvestorsThe fact is that the digital economy and new technology have led to closure of under-performing retail shops throughout the country. If someone currently has empty retail space, finding alternative tenants can be problematic if a commercial investor is not in a position to fund major building renovations. Consider a shorter lease term, and look to unique and creative ways to fill the space while determining a viable a long-term investment direction.

The Drawback of Commercial Investment

Commercial properties are, indeed, sensitive to market conditions, and current retail closures have become big news. There are other indicators that may lead potential investors to rethink the wisdom of expanding a portfolio of retail, warehouse of industrial

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Century Plaza Sale Approval ExpectedThe massive building constructed by the WPA at the edge of downtown Minneapolis that began life in 1932 as Miller Vocational High School is likely to be reborn as offices, according to those in the know. Once slated for the wrecking ball, the building known as Century Plaza was occupied most recently by Hennepin County Human Services. That department completed its move to new quarters in early May, after decades at the same address.

Sale Approval Expected

Century Plaza's fate was sealed on June 6, as the county is expected to give final approval for sale of the property to DEHL Properties LLC. The sale price of $9.4 million for the three-acre property comes with a proposal to renovate the building as market-ready offices and "flexible space,"

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Know the Law and Your Rights Before Interviewing Prospective TenantsIf you have rental property, whether it's commercial property or residential, you are probably wary about asking the wrong questions as you show property. It's still important, though, to screen prospective tenants. In addition to requiring a completed application form, a deposit and a credit check, what are the basic musts and "must nots" in terms of complying with the law and protecting yourself as a landlord?

The Federal Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act seeks to eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children for those who seek to rent, buy or apply for financing for housing in the United States. Any written application or personal interview must be

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Minimizing Turnover on Rental PropertiesIf you own investment property, you are well aware that the goal is full occupancy can be elusive. But that doesn't mean that you should give up on the goal. If you're currently plagued by high turnover rates that decrease your financial return, take a look at some common sense ways to keep current tenants in place. Develop strategies that will have your renters clamoring to renew their leases.

Basic Principles

The "care and feeding" of satisfied tenants is not an impossible task, but it might require that you revamp your existing policies and procedures to reflect a "customer-first" philosophy. Your tenants are, in very real terms, your bread and butter, and the way you treat them determines your success or failure. If that requires a shift

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New and Old Construction in Historic City Districts It's no joke: Uptown's iconic Comic Book College has been displaced by plans for new Minneapolis residential development. It seems the appetite for new apartments and condos will not be satiated anytime soon. And it's happening all over town: The old is making way for the new. 

Meanwhile in St. Paul, a new craft brewery is slated to open this September in a pre-Civil War saloon in the historic West Seventh neighborhood. The new is revitalizing and building on the past. And it seems to be happening all over town! Is the character of the not-so-identical Twin Cities so different? New commercial development is booming in both.

Actually, both Minneapolis and St. Paul show great respect for their historic neighborhoods and for their old downtowns,

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North Loop Twin Cities Development Ambitious and expensive new development plans are sure to change the already distinctly non-warehouse character of Minneapolis' North Loop. It has become a desirable "condo capital" and apartment center of the near-downtown area. But new housing, and other modern development, come at a price.

Availability of surface parking that once made the North Loop attractive for residents and visitors alike is now being sacrificed to allow new buildings to rise from the rubble. And what was once a district of low-rise commercial buildings, brick factories and solid warehouses is now reaching skyward.

Hotels, retail, condos, and underground parking -- they're what's coming to replace street level parking in Minneapolis' North Loop. The hotels and condos, newly

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Police Facility Real Estate Saint Paul is looking to sell off a piece of property formerly used as a police training facility because it believes its "higher and better" use can be achieved by the private sector rather than through continued city ownership. The Public Safety Annex is due to be vacated by the end of the year.

What the future will be for the property remains to be seen, but city officials now hope that creative uses for the building will be among the proposals. Saint Paul has said that proposals to demolish the building or to convert it to housing will not be considered. Instead, officials hope that the building will see new life as some sort of career-building or job-training center, and would accept limited retail use, along with a possibility for innovative

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Automation in Commercial Real EstateTechnology has made information gathering and management easier and faster. But it is also transforming the way we all transact business. As automation gains hold -- in terms of collecting rent, tracking transactions, guaranteeing payment and keeping records, there will be huge changes in the world of real estate, particularly for landlords and investors. What does the future look like?

Nothing Like Today

Predicting the future has always been iffy, but the element of risk is also what makes it exciting in many ways. Thinking ahead may be disconcerting as well. A recent article on the future that might be in store for today's real estate agents sheds a sobering spotlight on the prospect of more tasks becoming automated, more deals being made through

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iconic macy's to undergo adaptive re-use renovation What was termed by Mayor Betsy Hodges as a "huge opportunity for downtown Minneapolis," is now clearly a priority. The new owner of the former Nicollet Mall Macy's store last week announced the development team tapped to rework the one million square feet of the downtown landmark property into a modern mixed-use development.

Sale of the complex at a price of $59 million to New York developer 601W Companies was made public in December of last year, and the subsequent store closing schedule was announced soon after by the retailer.

Real estate developer United Properties was named local development manager for the massive project. The firm is relocating from its Bloomington headquarters, where it has been for 35 years, to Gaviidae Common in Nicollet

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