Weidner, a fast-growing Seattle real estate firm, is making a full-throttle commitment to the Twin Cities.
After four recent apartment acquisitions, the company bought a Minnetonka office building that will become the company’s Midwest regional headquarters.
“This means we are going to be in Minneapolis for a very long time,” said Jackie Fischer, commercial leasing manager for Weidner Apartment Homes. “We hold and operate properties for the long term, so having a physical presence in the Twin Cities will help us become more aware of opportunities and stay close to our newest investments.”
The company has 10 other properties, including just-purchased land where it plans to build apartments.
Weidner Apartment Homes LLC will base its regional headquarters at the Carlson Center East II, a 62,112 square-foot office building at 130 Cheshire Lane in Minnetonka, according to Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq (CWN), which represented them in the transaction and will manage the property.
Lakes Entertainment Inc. bought the building in January 2002 for $6.38 million and sold it to Weidner on May 20 for $4.65 million.
Weidner has properties in nine states, four Canadian provinces and now owns more than 41,000 apartments worth an estimated $4.8 billion. The company employs more than 1,200 and manages and owns 224 properties.
Carlson Center East II is a central location near Interstates 394 and 494 in a woodsy setting with a pond. The two-story class A building is now 77 percent occupied and has a newly renovated lobby, according to Paul Gibbs, CWN’s associate director.
Gibbs said that Weidner will occupy only about 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of space in the building, which was about 55 percent occupied when the deal closed. Gibbs will coordinate a leasing team to market the balance of the space.
Since the purchase, Gibbs landed a new tenant that will occupy about 16,000 square feet of the building, which Gibbs said is perfect for tech-related companies because the building has a backup generator.
Weidner is best known in the Twin Cities for the $109 million purchase in March of 222 Hennepin, a mixed-use project along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis that has a Whole Foods Market and 286 luxury apartments. The purchase from developer Ryan Cos. was a record price for a low-rise apartment building in the city.
Last month, Weidner paid $3.75 million for a 13-acre site across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Paul in an area that’s been popular with apartment developers. The company also is building a 138-unit building on the site of the Eliot Park School in St. Louis Park.