Tom Palmquist

Senior vice president at Welsh Cos. & Colliers International Minneapolis-St. Paul

Twin Cities commercial real estate veteran Tom Palmquist, 52, has joined the retail brokerage group at Welsh Cos. & Colliers International Minneapolis-St. Paul as senior vice president.

Most recently, he was vice president of commercial development for Minneapolis-based CSM Corp., where he headed up redevelopment plans for the former Lockheed Martin site in Eagan. Plans for the 450,000-square-foot mixed-use project — dubbed Central Park Commons — call for retail space and a medical office building. CSM recently announced that it's teaming up with retail real estate veteran and developer John Johannson to seek final approvals and start development on that project. Johannson is also a senior vice president at Colliers.

Palmquist, a Golden Valley native, also held leadership roles at Robert Muir Co., Ryan Cos. US Inc. and United Properties. He started in the business as a retail leasing broker in 1987.

Q: Why did you decide to join Colliers?

A: I was looking for a platform that enabled me to execute strategies that I felt would not only make money but create real estate solutions in the marketplace. It's gotten to the point where development is very difficult to do — and not that I'm daunted by that challenge — but on the brokerage side, it's more of a facilitator role. You're working with property owners and end users and connecting people through relationships, and I think I've always been strong in developing and nurturing relationships.

Q: Will you be involved in leasing at Central Park Commons?

A: I've known John Johannson for 25 years, and he and I work very well together. … I plan to continue to work with CSM to secure anchor-store lease agreements for the property.

Q: Are there any tenants to announce for that project?

A: We're in continuing negotiations with many different users for all aspects of that project.

Q: What are your primary responsibilities in your new role?

A: It's really taking a leadership role in the retail brokerage group. It'll be doing some ­tenant representation work; I have some clients I'm securing sites for right now. There's a new, large anchor store that's going to be taking multiple locations in town, but I can't disclose who yet. And I'll be doing landlord representation work to secure tenants for retail properties.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in this position?

A: I'm a deal junkie, and you're always only as good as your next deal, but it feels great to get deals done. We're in a rising market … but the rules have been rewritten. We're not going to see the go-go days of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at