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Office Market Update


The office market holds on while companies extend work from home options into 2021.  While the expectation stays the same that amenities will continue to drive demand, those amenities have gone nearly unused during Q2 2020.  It is anticipated that in upcoming months, those underutilized spaces will help alleviate some congestion as workers return and a relief valve is needed for the more heavily occupied tenant spaces.  For now, every other chair is literally turned on end.  Parking ramps and common area cafés remain empty and there isn’t a waiting line in the elevator lobby.  Certainly, leased office spaces are currently underutilized.  Because of this, a reduction in operating costs due to lower utility and cleaning costs could be forthcoming. 

The above narrative however, is not reflective in the Q2 data as businesses, bound by leases, utilize PPP programs to keep productivity up.  Unemployment surged in May 2020 to 10.4% from 2.6% in May 2019.  Even with that bad news, the overall office market experienced 664,000 square feet of positive absorption ending Q2 with a total market vacancy rate of 12%.  Focusing on multi-tenant properties only, the overall vacancy rate hovers at 15.7%, 0.3% up from year end 2019.  The clear winner continues to be the Northwest submarket with an overall multi-tenant vacancy rate of 9.5% with overall quoted gross rental rates averaging $21.95/SF.  The Northwest market is a sharp contrast to the 20% vacancy rate experienced in St Paul CBD.  These two markets show quoted gross rates that are nearly equal at $21.98/SF. 
Total sales volume for Q2 surpassed 1.3 million square feet.  Low interest rates continue to drive sales but inventory is low and investors have few options readily available. 
Returning to the office remains unknown to many employees.  Much rides on finding a vaccine.  Mass transit and social distancing don’t mix well and parking lots have disappeared in the downtowns.  Winter is calling, so keep wearing your mask and together we will ride this out. 
Written by: Nancy Powell, Vice President


Congratulations to Paramount’s East Team for their work to relocate PowerBlock’s headquarters to the Twin Cities!  Read on to learn more about their history, dive a bit into the details of the deal, and see what is to come for PowerBlock!
About PowerBlock
PowerBlock Incorporated, the makers of the world’s best adjustable dumbbells, is currently based in Owatonna, MN; where Carl Towley founded the company in 1993.  Moving PowerBlock’s headquarters to the Twin Cities will be monumental for this Minnesota grown, family-owned business!  With a passion for body building and strength training, Towley observed the typical dumbbell took up too much floor space.  This lead to the creation of a nested weight stack with a single handle secured by a U-shaped pin.
The Deal
Paramount’s East team, John Young, Phil Simonet, and Joseph Schultz, were able to assist with consolidating three of PowerBlock’s locations into one!  The new building will allow PowerBlock to unlock operational efficiencies not currently recognized.  In addition, the new facility will allow PowerBlock to streamline their process; above all, boosting their bottom line.
What’s to Come
PowerBlock has BIG plans to make the space their own!  Moreover, they will use the space as a way to brand themselves and display their company culture.  In conclusion, their hope is that the updated space will allow them to attract the talent that will help execute their long-term strategic plan.
We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them!

Is a Sublease Space Right For Your Company?

For firms whose growth is uncertain . . . or . . . perhaps a firm that is opening a new office or starting a business . . . subleasing space can be a sound alternative.  However, just as with any real estate transaction, caution is always in order.

Get to Know The Sublessor:
First, it helps to understand why the original tenant wants to sublease.  Is their business struggling?  Have they lost a number of key employees?  Did they overestimate their future growth?  Or perhaps they are reconfiguring their space into a more collaborative environment and find they don’t need all of the space.  What are their future plans?   When does the prime lease expire?  All of this is key since subtenants must comply with the terms of the prime lease.
Space Planning:
Second, most sublease space is leased in an “as is” condition, meaning that the prime tenant will provide no dollars for any changes to the space.  Therefore, review the language of the lease to see what restrictions might apply to any alterations.  Generally, the prime landlord’s consent and approval is mandatory.  Also, if you plan to make any significant changes, consult the prime landlord.  Changes that actually affect the configuration or general function of the space can cause problems in re-letting the space once you move out.
Have an Real Estate Professional Review the Lease:
Lastly, ensure that the terms of the sublease document are sound and complete and that you, as the subtenant, are protected in the event of some kind of default by the sub-landlord.

If we can offer any advice or assist in any way, please feel free to contact Paramount.  Proper preparation before moving forward is essential to any successful real estate transaction.
For the best in commercial real estate
service and solutions, call Paramount.
(952) 854-8290

Top Brokers for 2017

Top Brokers for 2017
TCN Worldwide (TCN), has been named one of the 2017 Top Brokers by National Real Estate Investor®.   The top commercial real estate brokers are based on total global leasing and investment sales transaction volume in 2016.  TCN came in #9 on the list with $58,603,344,000.  This is the second consecutive year TCN has been on the Top Broker List.  They were ranked 8th (by Deal Volume at $58.6 Billion) in 2016.
According to David Bodamer the author of 2017 Top Brokers, “For 2017, slower growth was a theme among many firms this year. Many saw slower paces of growth than they did a year ago. Some firms even experienced year-over-year decreases in deal volume.
Overall, six firms cracked $100 billion in deals, 13 were exceeded $20 billion in volume and 18 were over $10 billion.
This version of the ranking features additional data, including breakdowns of volume by leasing and investment sales globally and in the U.S in 2016.  It also includes the number of transactions closed, the number of brokers employed and revenue figures for some firms.”
TCN Worldwide is a consortium of independent commercial real estate firms, provides complete integrated real estate solutions locally and internationally.  An extensive range of real estate services coupled with a personal commitment to exceed expectations is what allows TCN Worldwide to be a leader in this competitive industry.  Comprised of leading independent brokerage firms, serving 20 countries, more than 200 markets globally, TCN Worldwide combines an entrepreneurial approach with years of local experience.  Around the globe, across all property types and service groups, TCN Worldwide’s more than 5,000 brokers and salespeople have a well-earned reputation for providing straightforward expert advice.  Paramount Real Estate Corporation has been a member of TCN Worldwide since 2008.
For a list of the top brokers for 2017 click Here.

NAIOP Industrial Space Demand Forecast | 3Qtr-2017

Demand for Industrial Space Will Remain Robust

Based on over 40 economic and real estate factors such as employment, GDP, exports and imports, and air, rail and shipping data, the NAIOP Research Foundation forecast suggests that net absorption of industrial space could increase slightly through 2018.   Overall, market consensus seems to be that the latter half of 2017 may benefit from a release of pent-up demand due to the election of Donald Trump.

While stories about the “death of retail” are assuredly overblown — with REIS reporting recent quarters of positive net absorption of retail space and the U.S. Census Bureau posting all-time record highs in retail sales — it is increasingly clear that more physical goods will pass through multiple distribution warehouses before reaching consumers’ hands.

New orders of goods are growing, manufacturing activity still appears to be increasing steadily in the U.S. as of the second quarter 2017 which require more industrial facilities, thus the demand for industrial real estate.

Read more: Qtr3 2017-Industrial Space Demand Forecast
In 2009, the NAIOP Research Foundation awarded a research grant to Anderson and Guirguis to develop a model for forecasting net absorption of industrial space in the United States. That model led to successful forecasting two quarters out. A white paper describing the research and testing behind the model for NAIOP’s Industrial Space Demand Forecast is available at
For more info about the NAIOP Research Foundation, contact Bennett Gray at 703-674-1436 or

TCN Worldwide’s State of the Market: Central Edition (2017-Q2) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

National and Macroeconomic Overview

There is no more recurrent question posed in real estate analysis than, “Where are we in the cycle?” The mood amongst economic forecasters can best be described as “benign.” While there is a general consensus that the present expansion is getting long in the tooth, at 96 months and counting, most (correctly) assert that business cycles do not die of old age. For the record, this is already the third longest upcycle since 1850. But it is also the weakest since World War II. The upcycle of the 1990s reached 120 months, but averaged 3.6% annual real GDP growth over that decade. The recovery since the Global Financial Crisis has averaged a bit under 2.1% annually. Given slower labor force growth (even absent a lower participation rate) and decelerating productivity improvements, the baseline growth in the years ahead appears to be in the 1.7% – 1.9% range. Expectations of a return to the growth of the 1990s simply cannot be justified in the numbers.
Some comfort is being taken by the absence of typical signs of economic overheating that often precede recessions. Inflation remains quiescent, with low energy prices driving prices at the gas pump down to near $2.00 per gallon during the peak summer travel season. The Federal Reserve has been gradually raising its benchmark rates, but is being careful to avoid squeezing economic growth in the process. The “Trump Bump” in stock prices has shown staying power on Wall Street, but as the year advances it becomes clearer that the agenda of tax reform, infrastructure spending, Dodd-Frank rollback, and entitlement reduction will not be accomplished in 2017. Hence, there is probably greater fragility in the economy than the consensus acknowledges and risk is present from either domestic disappointments or international disruption.
Read more: Central_2017_Q2_State_of_Market_web
Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.


1060 Lone Oak Road | Eagan, MN

Property Highlights:

Two (2) office/ warehouse spaces located in Eagan are available For Lease immediately

Option #1: 3,410 SF office + 9,133 SF warehouse = 12,543 SF total
Option #2: 7,605 SF office + 10,256 SF warehouse = 17,861 SF total

Located just off Lone Oak Road and Neil Armstrong Road, with easy access to I-35E, I-494 and Hwy 55
Close proximity to downtown Saint Paul and MSP International Airport
Docks & drive-in doors available

Option #1: four (4) docks; one (1) drive-in door
Option #2: two (2) docks; one (1) drive-in door

16’ clear height


Phil Simonet | (952) 854-8381 |
John Young, CCIM | (952) 854-5067 |

FOR LEASE — River Bend Business Park IV

River Bend Business Park IV
315 Randolph Ave | Saint Paul, MN

Property Highlights:

47,000 SF build-to-suit office/flex/showroom or warehouse opportunity For Lease
Approximately 10 acre site located just off Shepard Road, with easy access to I-35E, I-94 and Hwy 52
Close proximity to downtown Saint Paul and MSP International Airport
Overlooking the Mississippi River with direct access to the Samuel H. Morgan Regional Trail
24’ clear height in warehouse; docks and drive-ins build-to-suit
Strong local ownership and management


Phil Simonet | (952) 854-8381 |
John Young, CCIM | (952) 854-5067 |
Connor Ott | (952) 854-8309 |
We’re the people you want on your side.

TCN Worldwide State of the Market – Central Edition (2017-Q1) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

Central Region Economic Conditions
Temptation for economists, leading to forecasting out of the rear view mirror. Stresses over the past several years in key industry sectors
in the Central states have meant an unaccustomed slowdown of growth in many key states. But this now appears to be changing as the forces
shaping manufacturing, agriculture, and energy either find their bottoms or begin to accelerate from a period of sluggishness.
The precipitous drop in energy prices, for instance, seems to have run its course. For the past year, crude oil prices have settled into a narrow range close to $50 per barrel. Expectations that economic growth will spur demand is encouraging an increase in rig counts in the Permian Basin and increasing exploration in the Bakken region further north. The multiplier effects of renewed energy industry growth are positive for the Central states as a whole. The year is beginning with fairly positive conditions for the Breadbasket, with strong prices for a variety of agricultural products, including soybeans, cattle, hogs, and winter wheat.
Read more: Central_2017_Q1_State_of_Market_web
Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.

TCN Worldwide State of Market – Central Edition (2016-Q3) | by Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE

National and Macroeconomic Market Overview
The Bureau of Economic Analysis “final” GDP estimate for the Second Quarter was released on September 29, 2016.   It showed overall economic growth at a 1.4 percent annual rate.  This was the third consecutive subpar quarter, and confirmed that the long expansion (now at 86 months in duration) is slowing its momentum.  The initial Third Quarter estimate will not be out until early November.  Preliminary data indicate continued sluggishness. Retail sales are up just 1.9 percent year over year.  Housing starts, permits, and home prices slipped during the summer.  Industrial production and capacity utilization are also in decline from 2015.
More positively, net real exports have risen for the last several months, and this should be strengthening GDP during the second half. The
auto industry has also been trending upward. Incomes have started to rise, and for the first time in this cycle lower and middle-income households are benefiting materially, according to a Census Bureau study released in September. This is contributing to a small uptick in inflation, with core CPI now up 2.3 percent year over year.
Read more: 2016-central_q3_state_of_market
Economist Hugh F. Kelly PhD, CRE, who leads TCN’s Real Estate Economic Committee, is Clinical Professor at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate where he has taught for 30 years. He is widely cited in the real estate industry and is a frequent speaker around the world.