Principal, Nordland Partners
Launching a development company in the midst of the commercial real estate downturn is risky, but Mark Nordland, who previously worked for CSM Corp. and Ryan Cos. -- two big development companies in town -- sees advantages in being a small, entrepreneurial developer.
"If you look at the market carefully, there are pockets of opportunity, particularly as a small entity," says Nordland, who launched Roseville-based Nordland Partners in May. "I'm able to be nimble and opportunistic."
His biggest proposed project is L&H Station, an $80 million-plus, phased mixed-use redevelopment he's spearheading with Jack Boarman of the design firm BKV Group.
Plans call for redeveloping a 6 1/2-acre site at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue in south Minneapolis into multifamily housing, offices, retail space and a new location for the Midtown Farmers Market. The site is owned by the Minneapolis public schools. Nordland would develop the commercial components of the site and bring in housing developers.
QWhat opportunities do you see as a small developer in today's climate?
AIn a good, thriving economy there are more opportunities and more deals to be had, but there's a lot of competition for buying land or buildings to redevelop -- whereas now, sellers want to sell their properties and don't have a lot of opportunity. So as a smaller company, you're able to get a lot more accomplished in this climate than in better times.
QSo you're a glass-half-full guy?
AYou have to be to be a developer. There are definitely opportunities created out of this market just as much as there are difficulties.