Inside view: Cindy MacDonald

  • Updated: January 3, 2013 - 8:01 PM

Cindy MacDonald


Director of properties and redevelopment for Kraus- Anderson Realty Co.

In 24 years in the real estate business, Cindy MacDonald has managed high-profile retail centers and helped redevelop, acquire and dispose of assets. Now she's been named to the Minnesota Shopping Center Association Hall of Fame.

MacDonald joined Bloomington-based Kraus-Anderson Realty in 2004. She manages retail, office and medical properties and also supervises four property managers, overseeing 1.5 million square feet of property. MacDonald manages daily operations, including tenant relations, repair/maintenance and lease renewals. She also leads renovations and redevelopments and assists in the acquisition and disposal of real estate. Before joining Kraus-Anderson, she was a retail property manager at Gaviidae Common and Minneapolis City Center in downtown Minneapolis.

QHow did you get into commercial real estate?

AI discovered my passion for real estate and retail management when I worked in the real estate department at B. Dalton Bookseller. From there, I was recruited to Pinstripes Petites (a Minneapolis-based women's specialty store chain). There I had the ability to help create the real estate department and rapidly expand the retail chain. The chain was later purchased by Sears.

QYou were later recruited to manage Gaviidae Common and Minneapolis City Center. How challenging was that?

AIt's like managing a small city and you have to be prepared for anything.

QAny anecdotes you can share?

AOne that's very vivid is one morning I was reading the security incident report from the night before. It talked about an injury that occurred at the escalator. As I was reading this report, it turned out that a 12-foot angel that was part of the holiday décor had fallen from the atrium. Not a real person. It went from going from great concern to a good laugh.

QWhy join Kraus-Anderson Realty?

AIt had the retail component but also expanded into office and medical with the redevelopment opportunity as well.

QIs redevelopment a big part of Kraus-Anderson's strategy?

AYes. We just had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for 430 Oak Grove in Minneapolis. The building was built by Kraus-Anderson in 1924 and was recently renovated and repurposed into luxury apartments. ... We're also working on a couple of other redevelopments.

QYou also manage the daily operations of the portfolio?

AYes. But the reality is you don't know what the day's going to bring. You could schedule your day to go out and see tenants and get a call that someone drove through a storefront of your building. It's ever-changing.

Liz Wolf is a freelance writer from Eagan. She can be reached at wolfliz99@aol.com.

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