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TCN Worldwide Named in the Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Brands for 2020

We are proud to announce that once again TCN Worldwide has been named in the top 25 for Lipsey’s Top Brand Survey. Each year the Lipsey Company performs a survey to establish the most recognizable names inside of the Commercial Real Estate Industry and this year TCN Worldwide increased its brand recognition moving up two spots. Thank you to all who voted, and especially our TCN members!
Learn more about Lipsey’s Top Brand Survey here: https://lipseyco.com/top-commercial-real-estate-companies/

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Minneapolis Building Sells to Development Firms

The former Java Jacks & Studio 2 Building in Minneapolis will become a new neighborhood hang out with the addition of a yet-to-be-named restaurant.  John Young, Vice President Brokerage Services sold the building to a partnership between United Properties and Westwood Hills (a development company).  Plans are in the works for a new restaurant, which should be open in late Summer or early Fall.  The property garnered several offers and a lot of interest by the adjoining neighborhood.  It has been a favorite in the area for a couple decades and now it will have another great community asset, coming soon.

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TWIN CITIES MARKET SNAPSHOT

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Real Commercial Estate Market continues to perform admirably with office and industrial sectors demonstrating excellent performance throughout 2019.  The Markets characteristics remain upbeat and include positive net absorption of vacant space, moderate to low vacancy rates and measured new speculative development.  Economic conditions remain favorable however, recent statics raise concern for the continued overall economic growth in Minnesota and the USA.   While inflation continues to remain low at about 2% (annualized), unemployment has increased from 2.5% to 2.9% and median income for Minnesota households as stagnated year over year at $70,300-both still much better numbers than the national averages of 3.4% unemployment and median household income of $63,179 respectively. The 15 month trade war with China combined with all of the uncertainty in Washington DC (impeachment and gridlock) and slowing business investment-down 1% on an annualized rate last quarter create potential headwinds to sustained future economic growth.

Industrial Market


 
Industrial has been the best performing asset class of real estate since the Great Recession in 2009.  Vacancy rates are at an all-time low (4.9%) in a Twin City universe of 248 million square feet and have decreases by 1% since the beginning of 2019.

Net Absorption of available space stands at 2.73 million square feet through the third quarter of this year with bulk (high-bay) warehouse experiencing 1.74 million square feet of net absorption. Driving the net absorption has been e-commerce related companies localizing the distribution of almost everything now available on the internet.
To date there are 27 industrial projects under construction totaling 3.6 million square feet.   1.9 million square feet has already been delivered to the market.

Collectively, what all this most likely indicates is a continuation, at least through 2020, of relatively good conditions and performance for the industrial market.  The two current deterring factors, other than an economic slowdown, are the cost of tenant improvements and finding and hiring employees.

Office Market

The office market continues its long standing recovery albeit some sub markets are stronger than others.   The overall office vacancy rate for all Twin Cities office properties is 11.8%, which is down .8% from January 2019, however within multi-tenant properties the vacancy rate is 15.4%.  The northeast office market has the lowest vacancy rate at 8.6% and St. Paul CBD has the highest vacancy rate approaching 20%. Class A multi-tenant office space has the lowest vacancy rate at 12.5%, Class B Office space is at 17.7% and Class C is 13.8%.
Net absorption Year to Date is 363,871 square feet.  Actual absorption Year to Date is 504,247 square feet, however sublease space create 128,052 square feet of negative absorption.

The office market performance has instilled enough confidence in a local developer to spec a 361,104 square foot office building in the West End mixed use development named 10 West End. Net rental rates are projected to start at $25.50/sf.

One new office market characteristic that has been gaining momentum is the demand for building amenities.  Many office buildings have completed or are planning to complete updates to building common areas, add amenities such as work out areas, coffee bars, common area meeting spaces, food service, and concierge services among other things.  Many of today’s sophisticated tenants want space that is fun, functional and will retain and attract top talent in the current tight labor market.

IS IT THE “AMAZON EFFECT”???

The Twin Cities industrial real estate market is HOT!
Is it the “Amazon Effect”?

Amazon’s 24-hour delivery promise requires them to lease multiple, dispersed, and well-located distribution centers, which, in turn, is driving up building values and rents all over the country. Case in point, two recent owner/user building sales. First, a 31,000 square foot building in Mendota Heights sold for $86.69 per square foot, and second, a 63,000 square foot building sold for $88.91 per square foot. Just a few short years ago, these would have been sold for $70.00-$75.00 per square foot. Winning the lottery would be great, but it seems like owning a 10,000 to 60,000 square foot industrial building anywhere in the Twin Cities (especially in the 494/694 loop) is the next best thing.
Funny thing happens when building values go up…rents go up, too. Multi-tenant landlords throughout the City are pushing up rates by $0.25-$0.45 per square foot and, for renewals, they are not accepting rents below the last lease rate in effect for the lease.
All of these factors are now fueling a resurgence of sale/lease backs. Recently, two sale/lease back transactions had sale prices 20% over the normal market price with seller’s signing ten-year leases. This put cash in the seller’s pocket to fuel business growth and provided much needed investments to Opportunity Zone or 1031 exchange investors. “Amazon Effect” or not, building values are climbing with no end in sight…for now.
~Written by John Young, CCIM | Vice President

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MNCAR Industrial Market Trends | Q2 2019 | Minneapolis-St. Paul

Written by: MNCAR/Redi Comps
Economic Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the Mpls-St. Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) increased 40 basis points from 2.7% for May 2019 from 2.3% for May 2018.  The unemployment rate for the U.S. was at 3.6% in May 2019, down from 3.8% Y-o-Y for the US.  The Mpls-St. Paul MSA saw an increase in industrial job growth in manufacturing increasing 1,200 during the same period.
Market Overview
The Mpls-St.Paul industrial market consisting of 244M SF in eight counties across the metro posted over 829,000 SF of positive absorption for Q2 201\98.  The overall vacancy rate for the market stands at 5.0% and multi-tenant vacancy was 8.0% for Q2 2019.  The average asking lease low rate was $5.67 and high rate was $9.22 NNN for Mpls-St. Paul.  To date, there are 12 construction projects throughout the market totaling over 2.4M SF and 1.8M SF was delivered year to date.
Market Highlights
At the close of Q2 2019, the market experiences over 1.6M SF of leasing activity.  The vacancy rate finished the year at 5.0% in total with the Southeast and West markets being the tightest at 4.0% for all properties.  Illume held the top spot in absorption with 277,000 SF in the Northwest market.  The Northwest market is showing the highest vacancy rate at 6.1% for all properties while Northeast is highest for multi-tenant properties at 9.4%.
READ ENTIRE REPORT: Q2-19_Mpls-St_Paul_Industrial_Market_Report
 

MNCAR Office Market Trends | Q2-2019 | Minneapolis-St. Paul

Written By: MNCAR/Redi Comps
Economic Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for the Mpls-St. Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) increased 40 basis points from 2.7% in May 2019 to 2.3% in May 2018. The unemployment rate for the U.S. was at 3.6% in May 2019, down from 3.8% for the Y-o-Y for the US.  The Mpls-St. Paul MSA saw a decrease in office job growth, professional, financial and information increased by 1,200 during the same period.

Market Overview
The Mpls-St.Paul office market, consisting of over 127M SF of space in seven counties across the metro posting 131,600 SF positive absorption for Q2 2019.  The vacancy rate for the market stands at 11.3% for all properties for Q2 2019.  Total year-to-date absorption is 256,750 SF.  Multi-tenant properties posted 14.9% with 175,000 SF positive absorption .  The average asking lease rate for Mpls-St. Paul came in at $24.30 PSF FSG. To date, there are 15 construction projects throughout the market totaling over 2.7M SF.
Market Highlights
During the second quarter 2019 the market experienced over 1.1M SF of leasing activity and the vacancy rate finished the quarter at 11.3% in total. Class A properties ended the year at 8.6% for all properties and 12.7% for multi-tenant properties.  The West market posted the lowest vacancy rate at 11.3% for multi-tenant properties.  For the second quarter the West Market carried the market with the most positive absorption of 63,000 SF.  St Paul CBD posted the largest negative absorption of 90,000 SF.
READ ENTIRE REPORT: Q2_19_Mpls-St_Paul_Office_Market_Report
 

Commercial Real Estate Tip | September 2019

Q & A
Commercial Real Estate Questions Tenants often Ask Regarding Their Occupancy
Written by Bob Johnston | Vice President Sales & Leasing

QUESTION #1:  What if the Landlord is not finished building out my space by the time I want to move in?
ANSWER: If the Landlord is actually responsible for the completed work, much depends on how the lease is written and the commencement date defined. For example, a commencement date can be tied to the substantial completion of the space, so the lease will not commence until the Landlord completes the work. Sometimes, the date is even contingent upon occupancy and the commencement of business in the space. On the other hand, there might be a specific commencement date defined.  If the Landlord is late, the lease language will generally state that there is no culpability on the Landlord’s part, but the commencement date becomes the date on which the space is completed and the initial term extended from that date. In short, these issues are negotiable and dependent on each tenant’s situation.

QUESTION #2:  Toward the end of each calendar year, the Landlord sends us a note informing us of the new Common Area Maintenance (CAM) & Real Estate Tax estimate for the following year. However, we never get a breakdown of the actual expenses. Is that available?
ANSWER:  Most landlords will provide that information if requested. It always helps to have language in the lease that allows for a tenant’s review of the costs; and with larger tenants, audit rights are always helpful.

QUESTION #3:  What do I need to do to get the tenant improvement allowance provided by the Landlord?
ANSWER: Typically, for smaller tenants with smaller budgets, all that is required is a formal letter requesting Landlord reimbursement of the allowance and proof of completion accompanied by all subcontractor lien waivers. For larger jobs, sometimes a title company gets involved and administers “construction draws” and monitors the construction progress.

QUESTION #4:  Do I need to hire a disinterested third party architect to confirm the size of my space?
ANSWER: Typically not.  This can be warranted in certain circumstances. Individual spaces/bays are already pre-measured by the building’s architect and floor plans are drawn based on those measurements. Therefore, the space computation is generally accurate. RU factors can vary by building, and are often much higher in smaller buildings.  It helps to check the accuracy of the actual useable space and clarify the respective RU factor to calculate the rentable area (the number that determines the annual rent).

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Commercial Real Estate Tip | May 2019

Successful Commercial Leasing=Understanding Your Rent
by Bob Johnston | Vice President Sales & Leasing

THE TERMINOLOGY OF RENT

Most commercial leases today are “net leases”, meaning that the tenant pays a “base rent” which is “net rent”, or separate from, the operating costs and real estate taxes for the property. The operating costs are then passed on to the tenant as a separate cost, equaling a total rent cost and what many then refer to as “gross rent.”
Even this varies, however, from property to property. For example, often times in retail and industrial properties, tenants pay for their use of electricity and gas as well as janitorial services. In addition, sometimes the tenant, at its expense, must contract for local trash pick-up. These separately contracted costs are not part of the ordinary operating expenses. On the other hand, office leases typically are “full service” leases. In other words, there are generally no extra charges, other than perhaps charges for extraordinary use of services such as air conditioning or cleaning, etc.
It is critical that a tenant understand the complete picture and know what the total rent will be. In addition, it is also critical that the tenant understand what expenses make up operating costs and what costs are reasonable and legitimate. It is obviously to the landlord’s advantage to get the tenant to pay as much of the total operating budget as possible. This is even more critical in mixed-use projects where landlords tend to shift maintenance costs for the residences to the office component. Thus, the office tenant contribution is actually more than what it should be. I once audited the landlord of a very large mixed-use project in Chicago and found over $100,000 wrongfully allocated to the tenant even though the lease prohibited their doing so.

WHAT SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN RENT?
Here are some suggestions as to what to eliminate from the landlord’s menu. The list is obviously not exhaustive, but rather illustrative of some of the costs landlords attempt to pass on to tenants:

Leasing commissions, space planning expenses with architects/interior designers, or even attorney costs associated with a lease negotiation or existing tenant dispute
Costs associated with the construction of tenant improvements, either with new tenant relocations or existing tenant renovations and remodeling
Costs associated with the entity of landlord, particularly as it relates to partnership/ownership issues or the selling or refinancing the property
Many large landlords have affiliates or interests in affiliate companies, so it is important to ensure that the contracted vendor costs are no more than what an unrelated third party vendor might charge
Be careful about the expenses for salaries, benefits, etc. that go into “management fees.” Executive salaries, or any allocation of those salaries, should not be part of the operating costs for the building
Capital improvements are not, by accounting standards, expense items, although landlords can routinely pass on the amortized cost of the improvement as an operating expense
Make certain that in a retail environment, the tenant’s pro-rata share of operating expenses is calculated over the entire leasable area of the property rather than only on the space currently leased and occupied.

Proper due diligence and understanding of the components of a building’s operating budget are critical to a tenant’s successful occupancy, financial stability and long-term enjoyment of the space.

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Press Release | Powell Represents OffiCenters in Lease Renewal at North Loop

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.  Nancy Powell, Vice President at Paramount recently assisted our long-term client, OffiCenters in a lease renewal at their North Loop location in Minneapolis.  Lori, the founder and CEO of the locally held co-working and executive office sharing solutions corporation, is not daunted by the influx of co-working competitors, in fact she says bring it on!  For 35 years they have brought office sharing solutions to Minneapolis and St. Paul.
With 5 locations, OffiCenters offers nearly 100,000 square feet of office space solutions.  They focus on the needs of their customer, OffiCenters is not afraid to relocate to find the right space solution.  In fact in the past few years, Nancy has assisted them in relocating three of their centers.

Ownership Cycle of a Commercial Property

WEST BLOOMINGTON BUSINESS CENTER
6300 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN
Written by: Fred Hedberg

In 1997, Fred Hedberg, Principal of Paramount Real Estate Corporation was asked by a past client to determine the value and marketability of some excess land that was remaining after building a mini-storage facility on a site in Bloomington, Minnesota.  Fred provided a valuation and marketing plan for the land.  He also suggested that his client might want to consider developing an office-showroom or industrial building on the site.  The market for that type of product was very strong at that time. Fred suggested to his client that if this was of interest, he would like to co-develop and own the building with his client.

Forming a Partnership-The prospect of continuing to own the land and to not pay capital gains tax on a sale was appealing to Fred’s client.  It was beneficial having the opportunity to partner with a seasoned real estate professional who had a good understanding of the market and what kinds of buildings and spaces tenants were looking for at that time.  They agreed to move forward on a new development together.  They  began to work with an architect and contractor to lay out a building on the site that would meet current market demands for space and to meet the test of time.
Developing the Property-After a review of financial projections prepared by Fred, a partnership was formed to move forward with the project.  Construction drawings were completed, city approvals and financing was secured.  Krause Anderson was selected to act as the general contractor for the new 80,714 SF project called West Bloomington Business Center.
Completing the Project-Paramount Real Estate Corporation was hired to lease and manage the building for the partnership.  The shell building was completed in 1998 and it was fully leased and built out by the end of 1999. The building attracted well-known local and national tenants that leased the majority of the building as office space.In 1999 the building was recognized by NAIOP as a recipient of their Awards of Excellence for the Light Industrial-High Finish category. The building has performed well though the various real estate cycles that followed and has stood the test of time as different tenants with uses other than office have found it to be a desirable building and location for their businesses.
Selling the Building-After 20 years of ownership, Fred and his partner decided that it would be in their best interests to sell the building during the current business cycle for estate planning purposes and to maximize their return on the investment.  Fred found a local investor that was in need of a 1031 exchange property. West Bloomington Business Center fulfilled his exchange requirement and his desire to own a well performing, high quality asset.  The property was sold in August 2018 and the new owner hired Paramount Real Estate Corporation to continue to lease and manage the building.
Paramount Continues to Lease and Manage Property-Fred and his leasing and property management team are excited to be able to continue to work on this project in the future.   See detailed information about the space currently available at West Bloomington Business Center.

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