Real people: Lee Krueger
- June 21, 2012 - 5:28 PM
Director of real estate and development, St. Paul Port Authority
As the Port Authority's new, head real estate negotiator, Lee Krueger, 53, will draw from 25 years of leasing and development experience. Most recently, he was retail leasing director for Emmes Realty Services' Roseville office where he oversaw the leasing of 6 million square feet of shopping center space across 14 states.
Krueger replaces Bill Morin, who retired in March after two decades as the agency's director. Port Authority officials say they hired Krueger for his strong development and top-notch real estate-negotiating skills. The agency buys run-down, contaminated sites, preparing them for resale to developers. Krueger will work with developers, businesses seeking new sites, and sometimes with landowners unwilling to sell. It's a high-profile job dealing with sensitive land issues. Since 1995, the agency has returned nearly 155 acres to city tax rolls and helped create or retain nearly 27,000 jobs.
QWhat intrigued you about the position?
AThe most exciting thing is the ability to help in job creation. That was the one thing that made me just say, 'Wow, this would be awesome.' Other aspects were appealing as well, like brownfield cleanup.
QHow do you see your role"
AAt the end of day, we've got to make deals, and hopefully, I can describe myself as a dealmaker. That's how we'll be judged -- can we make those deals.
QIs that what drives you?
AAbsolutely. And also leaving here every day and asking, 'Did we push the needle forward?' It may be in small increments, but at least knowing we're better off today than we were yesterday, and hopefully, we'll be better off tomorrow than today. If we keep doing that, I think we'll be very successful.
QWhy move from the private to the economic development world?
AIt's a big change, but it's always been a desire of mine, and I have a little bit of background in it. I served on the Bloomington City Council, so the public sector part of it has always been an area I've wanted to be involved in.
QHow do you fill Bill's shoes?
AHopefully, we can continue his success. They're big shoes to fill, but somebody's got to do it. I'm honored to be selected to fill a role that he did so well for so many years.
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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