Developer United Properties will relocate its headquarters from a Bloomington office complex to Gaviidae Common in downtown Minneapolis.

The move signifies how far the company has come in the past few years as it has diversified its business from its concentration on suburban office park development.

“If you have a chance to relocate and own a space on Nicollet Mall as a developer, there’s probably no better opportunity,” said Bill Katter, co-president and chief investment officer at United Properties.

In the spring, United Properties plans to move its nearly 40 employees to about 17,000 square feet of space on the fourth floor of Gaviidae, located at 655 Nicollet Mall.

United Properties bought 51,000 square feet of office space on floors three and four that had been the former Saks Fifth Avenue department store (and then Saks Off-Fifth) this past summer and plans to redesign and market the space calling it 7th and Nic. It purchased the first and second floors of the complex last year in partnership with Minneapolis-based Capital Real Estate Inc., and has leased the space to retailers including Walgreens.

The new office is larger than the 10,500 or so square feet it leases currently at the Northland Center, a two-building office park close to Interstate 494 and France Avenue, which also houses United Properties’ sister companies Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq and NorthMarq Capital. United Properties had previously owned the Bloomington complex, but sold it to California-based KBS Realty Advisors in 2014.

The move to Minneapolis will be the firm’s third major relocation in its 100-year history. For more than 60 years, it operated out of the Hamm Building in downtown St. Paul, managing the real estate assets of its previous owners, the Hamm family.

The Pohlad family, owners of the Minnesota Twins, acquired United Properties in 1998.

The new location offers benefits like 16-foot high ceilings as well as other amenities such as the proximity to shopping, restaurants and clients, Katter said.

“This is an exciting new chapter for United Properties,” said Eva Stevens, co-president and chief operating officer, in a statement. “We are moving forward on several fronts, and the headquarters move is just another example.”

The company, which is known for its suburban park development, has been doing more in industrial and mixed-use development as well as senior housing over the years, Katter said.

“All of those things tend to make the business more sustainable,” Katter said.

United Properties is part of a team of developers that has submitted preliminary plans to the city for the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor in north Minneapolis. It is also finalizing plans for a hotel and residential tower at the much-discussed former Nicollet Hotel block at 3rd Street and Nicollet Mall.

 

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