Inside view

  • Updated: August 29, 2013 - 5:28 PM

Sean Doyle

Associate at Marcus & Milli­chap’s national retail group

Sean Doyle, associate at Marcus & Millichap’s Minneapolis office, comes from a long line of commercial real estate professionals. His father, Kevin Doyle, is vice president at the Minneapolis-St. Paul division of Colliers International, and his uncle Dennis Doyle is co-founder of Welsh Cos. He also has a brother, another uncle and cousins in the business.

Now the 32-year-old Bloomington native is making a name for himself in retail brokerage sales. Since joining Marcus & Millichap in 2007, he’s been involved in investment sales transactions approaching $100 million. He specializes in selling retail centers and single-tenant, net lease properties in the Midwest. Net lease properties are typically free-standing buildings with a single, long-term, strong credit tenant. For example, Doyle has sold Culver’s, Tires Plus, Buffalo Wild Wings and Dollar General stores.

Many national investors have a strong appetite for net lease properties because there are no management worries. “The tenant takes care of all expenses, taxes, insurance and common-area maintenance on the property, so it’s a very passive investment,” Doyle explained. “That’s where we see a lot of out-of-state investors coming to Minnesota and purchasing these properties because they don’t have any management responsibilities.”

Doyle is marketing a Burnsville Walgreens for $12 million. He sold the former Old Chicago at 28th and Hennepin in Minneapolis’ Uptown to a local investment group for $2 million. He represented the seller, GE Capital. Now the buyer is putting in a new restaurant called Boneyard.

Q: Tell me more about that sale.

A: That was probably my favorite deal. There was an existing, long-term lease with Old Chicago that only had a couple of years remaining. … It was actually more of a real estate play because of its good location vs. long-term security, as the lease was very short at the time [of the sale]. It’s a major redevelopment site.

Q: Marcus & Millichap’s recent market report states that “investors are flocking to Minneapolis.” Why?

A: Minneapolis and the Midwest are somewhat flyover markets, in general, for the coastal investors, but Minneapolis is definitely on the radar now. … There’s a good employment base with all of the companies headquartered here. There’s a highly educated workforce and strong demographics in comparison to other secondary markets. It’s also fairly conservative as far as not overbuilding. … We’re seeing a lot of capital coming from California, the East Coast and Canada because the returns can be a little higher.

Q: You have to keep on top of which retailers are expanding. Who’s active?

A: Popeye’s bought an entire portfolio of former KFCs around the Twin Cities, so that was a quick jump for them to get into the marketplace. Goodwill has been doing a lot of developments around town. Wal-Mart is doing a couple of developments. Chick-fil-A is coming to market. We’ve seen a lot of Trader Joe’s being built, and Whole Foods is coming to market pretty strong.

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

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