Commercial Property & Real Estate News

Are There New Directions for Minnesota Commercial Zones?Will the planned Minnesota commercial real estate projects breathe new life and energy into the creative zone, or do they spell a change of direction for local "makers" who might be priced out of the zone that was intended to encourage affordable live and work spaces?

Will High Prices Lead to Dying Creativity?

Rising prices, high demand and new development costs have all been cited as elements that contribute to the current high, and continually rising prices for housing in the Twin Cities and throughout the nation. The dilemma of shrinking opportunities for medium-to-lower-income renters is not limited to specific areas, however, and solutions are not easy.

Affordable housing initiatives that require a certain percentage of units in new

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New Bloomington 402-unit Housing Project AnnouncedGround has been broken on a 402-unit housing project at Bloomington Central Station, a 50-acre master-planned site that is expected to revitalize the city's South Loop District. The third multi-family project at the site, The Fenley is among the first ground-up projects to begin as part of the Minnesota Opportunity Zone endeavor authorized by federal legislation approved in 2017.

Planned to Encourage Economic Development

It is unique: The majority of the units are planned as high-end apartments, but 10 percent will be made available at 80 percent median income rents, in conformity with public subsidy requirements. The incentive program provides for investors to channel unrealized capital gains to projects specified locations throughout the

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2019 Is Expected to Bring Many Changes to Commercial Real EstateAlthough it might seem that 2019 forecasts for commercial real estate investment represent a textbook study in Good News/Bad News predictions, there are some indicators that, at the very least, there are some reasons for concern. Although demand for housing is still high in most urban areas, so are prices and they continue to rise, but there are mixed signs across all CRE sectors.

Business, particularly retail sales, posted slowdowns at the end of 2018, and that is worrisome for CRE investors and developers. However, any current assessments might seem more like guesses than educated predictions backed up by facts, figures and identifiable trends. Part of the problem with forecasting this year is the mixed signals coming from almost every

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The Forecast for 2019 and Multifamily Real EstateThe year just past was another good one for the multifamily housing market, according to all reports. But what lies ahead?

According to most market analysts, three perils will exert influence over what occurs in 2019:

  • Interest Rates and Available Lending
  • Supply
  • Development Concerns

With continued volatility both on the political scene and in financial areas, even the experts tend to disagree somewhat on the forecast. Recent speculation about additional interest rate hikes may—or may not—have been put to rest. It seems too early to tell yet whether there is a continued balanced suppy of new apartment units or construction already underway will lead to an oversupply in specific markets. And, finally, the "known unknowns" in the

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Minnesota Opportunity Zones Give Birth to Funding to Spur DevelopmentEven though designated Oppportunity Zones throughout the nation are viewed as vehicles for investment in local communities and a market-driven source of renewed opportunity for workers and residents of low-wealth communities, state and local officials see challenges in implementing programs that will have the hoped-for positive results in Minnesota. But that has not deterred forward progress with the program.

Federally-sponsored bipartisan efforts created the Opportunity Zone funding in 2017 as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Congress subsequently approved a list of 128 Minnesota census tracts eligible to receive the funding. Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Opportunity (DEED) is tasked with administration of the

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Addressing the Labor Crisis in the Construction TradesIt's a problem that's been brewing for a decade or more. There aren't enough skilled workers to keep up with the demand—across the country and across the wide spectrum of real estate and construction, from new homes to new high rises.

A Nationwide Crisis

Nationally, approximately 70 percent of contractors who responded to a survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors, noted that they had problems filling and retaining hourly workers. In the west, the percentage is often 75 percent or higher. It goes beyond the ability to pay higher wages; unemployment among construction trades is near an all-time low, at just 4.4 per cent in May, indicating a severe lack of available workers.

The shortage is critical for many reasons, and the

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For Real Estate Investors, Student Housing Is a Profitable New MarketReal estate investors are "on track to spend more than $11 billion to buy student housing properties in 2018," according to a December 17 article in Minnesota Real Estate Journal. That's almost $3 billion more in valuation than the total deals closed the previous year.

Because of what has been termed "recession resiliency," the student housing market is termed stable, despite rising prices and worries about overbuilding. J. Ryan Lang, executive managing director of the ARA Newmark Student Housing office in Austin, Texas, notes that this asset class was characterized by record transaction volume in the second half of the year.

Student Housing Market Evolves, Remains Strong

Foreign investment and large portfolio transactions in previous

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Surban Centers Fill a New Need for Coordinated Lifestyles"Surban growth" may be the next phase of a changing development picture that will play an increasing role in real estate during the coming years.

Development demographics are shifting—but rather than there being a distinct separation between urban and suburban, the newest trend involves a melding of the best of both. This "surban" appeal redefines some of the traditional labels of generational context, employment status and even family makeup.

Emerging Trends of Future Growth

A fascinating look at the emerging future of a population—and an economy—in transition points to a reorganization not only of the "where" but also of the "who." It promises to affect the housing market as well as commercial development and city planning efforts, and

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Minneapolis Development Projects Continue ApaceEven though Minneapolis was never considered a top contender in Amazon's city search for its HQ2, some analysts early in the year viewed the city's early elimination from the competition as a snub, and commented wryly on the city's status as "a clear loser." Former Shakapee Mayor Brad Tabke spoke out about the need for a new focus on housing and transit issues, adding that the local labor force (or lack of one) may also have been a factor in the city's early dismissal from Amazon consideration.

The face of development in Minneapolis may be unique, with a heavy focus on renovation, and on mixed-use redevelopment. Here's a quick overview:

Minneapolis: Moving Beyond Amazon Dreams

Now that Amazon's choice has been announced, it is fair to say

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Why Changes in Foreign Lending May Drive Profits for Commercial PropertyForeign lending has always had an impact on commercial real estate, whether its effects are obvious or not. If a foreign bank can give a US corporations their dream rates, they're more likely to buy more property. If foreign banks make it easy to do business with US companies regardless of where they set up their branches, US corporations may choose to start moving more of their business overseas.

But there are a few ways in which this is beginning to change. As the world stage continues to shift at a rapid pace, the market has been busy responding to the turmoil. See how multinational corporations and small businesses alike can prepare for the trickle-down effects of changes in foreign lending.

The BEAT Tax

There has been a lot of

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