Mortenson wins Duluth arena job

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 25, 2008 - 11:40 PM

Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction is adding another sports venue to its project list as general contractor and construction manager of a $78 million expansion of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, home of the University of Minnesota Duluth hockey teams.

Mortenson's current sports-related projects in the Twin Cities include the new Twins ballpark and the University of Minnesota's football stadium. The company has been building sports facilities for more than 20 years, with area projects that also include Target Center in Minneapolis and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Duluth project will add a new arena with 6,630 seats for hockey games that can be converted to 8,200 seats for other events, such as concerts. The project will be funded by $38 million in state bonding money and $40 million in city money to be raised through bonding. The city bonds will be repaid with contributions from the university and an increase in city food and beverage taxes.

Work on the project is expected to begin this fall.

GE Capital keeps St. Paul offices

St. Paul's First National Bank Building has begun to reap the benefits of a major capital-improvement program with a large tenant's recent lease renewal.

General Electric Capital Corp. has renewed its lease for 88,045 square feet in the downtown St. Paul landmark. It's the second-largest tenant -- after the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which occupies 145,000 square feet.

The renewal is one of several being handled by the Twin Cities office of Cushman & Wakefield, and coincides with an ambitious makeover that includes a new conference center, tenant lounge with Wi-Fi Internet access, a fitness center, bike lockers and locker rooms. Other work includes elevator and mechanical system renovations.

The renovation is being funded by an unidentified investment partnership that bought the building for $27.1 million last year. The building is 73 percent occupied, and in recent years had lost some key tenants, including U.S. Bank, which moved to a new building across the Mississippi River from downtown.

RJM joins Marquette fold

The parent company of United Properties and NorthMarq Real Estate Services has bolstered its presence in the construction business with the recent acquisition of a Plymouth-based firm.

Terms of the purchase of RJM Construction by Marquette Real Estate Holdings were not disclosed.

In conjunction with the acquisition, United Properties' construction services division will be integrated into RJM. The combined entity will provide general contracting, tenant improvement and construction management services to commercial, health care and community/sport facilities clients. The business unit will be led by RJM president Bob Jossart.

Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723

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