Sealed bid reveals slow market

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2009 - 9:34 AM

A large, vacant office building in Brooklyn Park was sold in a sealed-bid sale, an indicator of weakness in the commercial property market.

Twin Cities real estate investor Ned Abdul is the new owner of Northland Corporate Center, a long-vacant Brooklyn Park office property that was taken back by lenders last year.

Abdul declined to comment on the price. Local real estate sources said it was about $1.3 million, far below the 200,400-square-foot building's most recent value for tax purposes of $8.7 million, according to Hennepin County property records.

Washington, D.C.-based Allied Capital took over the deed in lieu of foreclosure in January 2008. The Twin Cities office of Colliers Turley Martin Tucker worked with Tulsa, Okla.-based National Commercial Auctioneers in selling the building through a sealed-bid sale similar to an auction.

Planners in town

Projects from around the Twin Cities area go on display later this week when the American Planning Association holds its annual national conference here. About 4,500 community planners and other development professionals are expected to attend the five-day event, which starts Saturday.

Almost 100 companies supplying products and services for urban planners will have exhibits at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The conference also will feature about 100 walking tours that will give industry professionals a chance to see some of this area's most high-profile development and redevelopment projects. They include the Target Corp. headquarters and Target Field, the new Twins ballpark in downtown Minneapolis; St. Paul's Phalen redevelopment corridor, and several suburban mixed-use projects.

"We try to look for cities that provide plenty of planning lessons for our members," said Roberta Rewers, spokeswoman for the Chicago-based APA. Last year's national conference was in Las Vegas, and previous venues include San Francisco, San Antonio and Philadelphia. Next year's will be held in New Orleans.

Marquette wins challenge

A student team from Marquette University won this year's winner University Challenge sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

The competition allows student teams to get real-world experience by preparing feasibility studies on potential projects. This year's challenge called for development proposals for 425 Park Av. S., the site of an underground parking ramp adjacent to the Metrodome and below the light-rail transit station.

The Marquette team's proposed project was Metro Medical Commons, a three-story, medical office building with light rail access to the west. The 79,600-square-foot building would have energy-efficient and environmentally friendly features to qualify it as a LEED- certified project.

The Marquette team chose a medical office building because of the proximity to the Hennepin County Medical Center and HCMC's goal of developing an outpatient clinic and education facility in downtown Minneapolis.

In addition to Marquette, teams from the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas, St. Cloud State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Northern Iowa participated in the competition.

Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723

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