Staff Directory 6370569

Dee DePass

Reporter | Commercial Real Estate
Phone: 612-673-7725

Dee DePass is a business reporter covering commercial real estate for the Star Tribune. She previously covered manufacturing, the economy, workplace issues and banking.


Originally from the East Coast, Dee earned her undergraduate degree at Vassar College and a master's degree in journalism at the University of Maryland. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, fitness, reading, and being an adjunct journalism professor.
Recent content from Dee DePass
Pictured is Wyoming Machine in Stacy, north of the Twin Cities. Minnesota manufacturers indicated continued growth in June, but the index was lower th

New overtime pay rules start July 1. Employers say that's too soon.

While several business groups bemoaned the change, employment advocates and job placement experts applauded the update, saying it was long overdue.
Da'Kwon Young, an intern at Mortenson, will join the construction company full time next year when he graduates from college. Young said he previously

At one point, Black income grew the fastest of any race in Minnesota, but disparities persist

The 2008 Great Recession hit Black Minnesotans the hardest, and it took them the longest to recover. Such income disproportion concerns Black leaders, state officials and economists who noted half of Black wage earners in the state still don't make enough to live comfortably.
Anna Colakovic, a volunteer with Wells Fargo, rolls an anti-graffiti coating over a mural on Lake Street last month.

A tale of two Lake Streets: One recovering, one frozen in 2020

Four years after George Floyd's murder, Lake Street sees progress, but there are many stalled projects such as the former Gandhi Mahal Restaurant building.
Ryan Cos. will provide Narcan at all of its construction sites across the U.S.

Ryan will equip worksites with Narcan as more construction companies address mental health

The Minneapolis-based developer worked with a White House effort to address overdoses. The industry has one of the highest rates of opioid abuse, federal statistics show.
The Diana E. Murphy United States Courthouse building in downtown Minneapolis.

Minnesota bankruptcy law firm files for bankruptcy after losing fight with another bankruptcy firm

The St. Cloud firm, one of the oldest bankruptcy law firms in the state, lost a fight involving Google Ads.
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Richfield construction subcontractor sentenced for insurance fraud

Fabian Espinosa, owner of Richfield-based Fabian Espinosa Construction LLC, faces three years' probation.
Minneapolis City Council Member Jamal Osman reacts to Council Member Linea Palmisano's proposal to restart rideshare wage negotiations during a counci

Minneapolis City Council votes to delay start of rideshare wage ordinance

The council voted unanimously Thursday to push the start date of a new policy to July 1, saying it will give new rideshare companies time to start up and fill gaps if Uber and Lyft leave the city.
City Council members listen to Eid Ali, president of MULDA, speak at a news conference Thursday.

Uber, Lyft drivers support Minneapolis City Council's postponement of pay ordinance

They also introduced two new rideshare companies that could be entering the Twin Cities market.
Elam Baer takes an Uber home from work at the Corporate Technologies Building in Eden Prairie on Friday. His newly formed rideshare firm, MyWeels, is

If Uber, Lyft leave Minneapolis, nearly a dozen rideshare firms ready to fill the void

Companies ranging from startups like Elam Baer's MyWeels to Empower and Wridz have invested in Minnesota.
Driver Daniel Fragola is not sure how he will be affected when Lyft pulls out of Minneapolis on May 1. He hopes to still serve suburban passengers who

Uber, Lyft drivers using Hertz program told to return cars, leaving gap before May 1 pullout

The move leaves drivers wondering what their future options will be.
A U.S. Department of Labor judge says a carnival operator and associated food vendor broke H-2B visa rules.

Minnesota carnival operator ordered to pay $210K in back wages for breaking H-2B visa laws

The company, along with an associated food vendor, plan to appeal the ruling, their lawyer said.
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Winona auto parts maker to close, will lay off about 125 workers

BCS Access will cut the jobs in the second half of the year; its engineering operations so far will not be impacted.
Mechanic Jesus Montes jokes with a driver while replacing the battery on his fleet vehicle Wednesday at Blue & White Cab in St. Louis Park.

Finding a ride after May 1 will take patience if Uber and Lyft pull out of Minneapolis

Taxi cab firms might hire some drivers, but it will take a while to build back an industry that has pivoted to medical and student contracts since the mega rideshare companies entered the Twin Cities market.
Kara Fannon, a member of the Activision union organizing committee, shows a union pin, at home in St. Paul, March 7, 2024.

A group of Activision video game workers voted to unionize. More than half are in Eden Prairie

The group joins other Microsoft workers to form the largest union in the video gaming industry.
SEIU members, janitors, nursing home workers, the Minnesota Nurses Association, join to rally outside the State Capitol during their Strike in St. Pau

Twin Cities nursing home employees walk off the job

About 1,000 nursing home workers and supporters picketed in front of the Estates at St. Louis Park on Tuesday morning, part of a one-day walkout of employees from a dozen senior facilities.
A group of SEIU strikers made their way to the Public Service Building for a City Council listening session. About 4,000 janitors walked off the job M

4,000 janitors went on strike Monday, and about 1,000 nursing home workers plan the same on Tuesday

The SEIU and their employers did not reach contract settlements; pay is the big issue.
Uber driver Mohamed Egal took rider Jaqueling Hurla to her work on Feb. 16 in Minneapolis.

Minnesota drivers say economics of Uber, Lyft don't add up

While the ride-share companies say they pay fairly, elected officials could mandate minimum wages.
Several hundred members of SEIU Local 26 Twin Cities Secruity Officers pounded on pots, pans, drum and anything else that would make noise as they pic

Security guards, Target janitors reach labor agreement

Strike looms Monday for another 5,400 workers.
At the Securian Center in downtown St. Paul, several dozen janitors from the SEIU protested their wages .

Janitors and security guards at Target, airport, sports venues set to strike next week

Four bargaining sessions remain before thousands of employees walk out over better pay and improved training.
FILE - In this file photo made Oct. 6, 2009, employee John Abou Nasr pushes shopping carts in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Methuen, Mass. Home D

Home Depot on New Brighton Blvd. penalized for firing worker with 'BLM' written on work apron

The National Labor Relations Board ordered that the worker be rehired and issued back pay.
A health care professional weeps on a paramedic vehicle that has become one of three memorials in front of the Burnsville Police Department in Burnsvi

Two Burnsville cops, paramedic shot and killed; gunman dead

The first responder was trying to help one of the wounded officers when shot, police said. The shootings happened after an hourslong standoff following a domestic abuse call.
Uber and Lyft driver Arturo Melgar, center, joined other ride-share drivers at a rally for batter pay and working conditions at Austin-Bergstrom Inter

Twin Cities Uber, Lyft drivers take part in global Valentine's Day strike for better pay

The drivers turned off their phone apps as a protest against work conditions.
Shown is a relay machine for deaf and hard of hearing used by the state of Alabama.

Two Twin Cities translation service centers for the deaf closing, 50 losing jobs

Layoff announcement came the day some workers had scheduled a meeting with a union.
In this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 photo, a driver displaying Lyft and Uber stickers on his front windshield drops off a customer in downtown Los Angeles.

Twin Cities Lyft drivers hopeful but wary of company's new pay structure

The company said it will guarantee that drivers receive 70% of fares, after fees.
Teacher and co-founder Grace Larson helped children transition to outdoor time at Little Garden Montessori in Roseville on Monday.

Slower wage growth might be good for the economy, but not everyone is celebrating

Workers and advocates say there's a disconnect between policy and reality.
Brian Walsh, who led Minneapolis' efforts against wage theft, will led the Hennepin County Attorney's office unit.

Hennepin County launches new unit to crack down on wage theft, other employer wrongdoing

The county attorney's office hired Minneapolis labor enforcement head to lead the effort.
Peter Michaud said he would like to expand Ballard Spahr geographically, possibly opening an office in a region of the country where the firm has clie

Minneapolis' Peter Michaud now leading Ballard Spahr nationwide

He plans to expand the 600-attorney firm and use technology to improve the company's future.

Planned Parenthood, new union reach agreement for first labor contract

After a contentious unionization effort and 37 negotiating sessions, the contract will now go to union members for a vote.

Minnesota fines Menards for penalizing employee for pumping breast milk

Minnesota labor regulators say the store in Fridley docked the worker's pay 103 times and suspended her after she complained.
Attorney General Keith Ellison.

Minnesota files $3M wage theft case against Evergreen Acres Dairy in Stearns County

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said it is one of the largest wage theft cases undertaken in the state.

Soderberg's Floral, a Minneapolis landmark, closes after nearly 100 years

Customers and community groups said the shop buoyed the neighborhood and helped nearby businesses survive the 2020 riots.
Christi Rowan, Denny Hecker’s ex-wife, left the Minneapolis federal courthouse in 2010.

U.S. Attorney's Office claims Denny Hecker's ex-wife failed to pay all of ordered restitution

Andrew Luger has asked the court to order Rowan to turn over financial documents.

Thrivent CEO is not afraid to bring her authentic self to work — or make hard decisions

At her five-year mark at the helm, Terry Rasmussen has overseen big changes at the Fortune 500 firm, but acknowledges many more are needed.
Bryce Quinn, co-owner of Cafe Latte and Bread & Chocolate in St. Paul.

Minnesota minimum wages rise Jan. 1. Are employers ready?

Hourly wages will increase 38 cents to $15.57 for large Twin Cities businesses.
Jessica Stoe of Gardner Builders with one of the “wellness pods” the company provides at construction sites.

New privacy pods hope to help boost wellness, cut suicide rates in construction sector

FILE - In this May 6, 2020, file photo, a sign stands outside the Department of Labor's headquarters in Washington. A government watchdog has found th

Federal suit alleges Richfield grocery stores owe more than $500K in back wages

Department of Labor demands the two stores pay $508,000 in back wages and damages for falsifying payroll records and denying 51 employees overtime pay.
The state of Minnesota investigation into apartment projects in the Vikings Lakes development in Eagan has resulted in allegations of wage theft again

Minnesota seeking $2.4M from Viking Lakes subcontractors accused of wage theft

The state is asking an administrative law judge to endorse its findings, which include wrongdoing at the Eagan site and 18 others.

Target asks HQ employees to work periodically in downtown Minneapolis

Target is calling its headquarters workers back one week per quarter.

This holiday season, Minnesota companies are partying like it's 2019

Companies are investing again in holiday parties and staff events, with ripple effects for the Twin Cities area economy.

Pottery Barn on St. Paul's historic Grand Avenue will close

The area business association president said the closure is "incredibly frustrating and does not represent the overall strength of Grand Avenue."

Probation for Princeton contractor who denied aid to man injured by nail in eye

The apartment building contractor received two years of probation and is banned from future state and federal contracts for insurance fraud.
The Center for Economic Inclusion measured economic development activities in 22 governments across Minnesota.

Minnesota's inaugural racial equity index shows progress, but gaps remain

The Center for Economic Inclusion issued its first Racial Equity Dividends Index after 22 cities and counties had their economic development practices evaluated.
SEIU workers marched through the skyways of St Paul in 2019 to highlight the issue of wage theft.

Wage theft in Twin Cities costs low-wage workers $86M a year, study finds

Rutgers University analyzed five years of data from the metro area to come to its conclusions.
We need to learn how to interact with each other again.

We forgot our manners during work-from-home — how to relearn office etiquette

Pros offer Office Etiquette 101 lessons as workers return to their desks.
Joanna Lindell, left, and Jenna Reck talked about the etching “Ornamentation” by Minneapolis artist James Boyd Brent that Reck chose for her offic

Thrivent spreading prestigious art collection to office walls to entice workers back downtown

While managers get to choose artwork for their walls, employees also can weigh in on pieces hung near their cubicles.
CEO Tawanna Black of the Center for Economic Inclusion

St. Paul's Center for Economic Inclusion using more than $1M in grants to expand

The center will grow to nine cities thanks to $1.6 million in grants from Google and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Geri Joseph, born Geri Mack, always defied norms.

Geri Joseph, Hubert Humphrey speech writer and DFL leader, dies at 100

She accumulated an impressive array of awards and job titles and molded generations of Democrats.
Sam Koepke made police Sgt. Keia Boyd and officer Krystal Scott laugh as he discussed what jobs he likes and doesn’t like as he attended an Autism J

Autism Job Fair works to connect employers with people on the spectrum

Bremer Bank, Andersen Windows, Metro Transit, MHealth Fairview, HyVee, Minneapolis Police and others participated in what is believed to be the first Autism Job Fair in Minnesota.
Rendering of a playground planned by the developers of United Village, which is proposed for the area around Allianz Field in St. Paul.

As new development by Allianz Field nears, backers seek $22M from St. Paul

The group proposing the $160 million United Village development in St. Paul's Midway asked the city for $21.6 million for infrastructure improvements.
A Minneapolis firefighter left the scene of a 2022 two-alarm apartment fire on Plymouth Avenue. Among Minnesota graduates of associate degree programs

Want to know if your degree from a Minnesota college is worth it? Check out state's new tool

A new Minnesota data tool tracks wages won seven years after getting that degree and lets you factor in student loan debt.
UAW local 862 members strike outside of Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky. on Thursday. The United Auto Workers union significantly esca

Minnesota car dealers brace for impact as UAW expands strike to Ford's largest plant

The strike reaches the automaker's factory in Louisville, Ky., where 8,700 workers walked off the job Wednesday.
A local construction boss pleaded guilty to charges of workers’ compensation insurance fraud after an employee hurt his eye on the job.

Minnesota contractor pleads guilty to insurance fraud after nail injures employee's eye

Nelson Israel Lopez Giron, the owner of wood-framing firm Giron Construction, tried to claim the employee wasn't his.
Henry Cacique, right, is given a tour of a construction site by Mortenson field engineer Jordan Schenck at on the Abbott Northwestern campus by on his

Mortenson launches new scholarship to draw students into construction industry

New Mortenson Co. program provides five low-income students with two-year $30,000 scholarships to Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis.
This month and next, millions of U.S. employees must choose from a smorgasbord of employer benefits, tabulate costs and figure which workplace offerin

Picking employee benefits can be confusing — here's where to start

Employees must soon elect their benefit choices for 2024. Higher health care costs and greater choices introduce new complexity for Minnesota workers.
John Koneck and Melodie Rose, left to right, pose for a portrait Thursday, September 28, 2023, at the Fredrikson & Byron office in Minneapolis, Minn.

Minnesota's biggest law firm appoints first woman president in its 75-year history

Melodie Rose took over this week from John Koneck, who will stay at Fredrikson & Byron as a practicing attorney.
Raissa Akoh spoke with job recruiters Wednesday during the third annual Veterans & Community Job Fair at the CareerForce Building in Minneapolis. The

Minnesota steps up efforts to help employers fill jobs as tight labor market continues

State and local officials kicked off Workforce Development Month at a massive job fair in north Minneapolis, as the governor traveled to the Iron Range.

United Auto Workers strike expands to locations in Twin Cities area

Facilities in Plymouth and Hudson, Wis., are among the 38 locations added across 20 states.

Minnesota unemployment rate ticks up a bit as more people reboot job searches

Minnesota employers added 4,400 jobs in August. At the same time, more people re-entered the workforce, boosting the unemployment rate.
Twin City Die Castings CEO Todd Olson held two of his companies products, a fan assembly and a casting for oxygen generator.

Minnesota factories, dealerships brace for trickle-down effects from UAW strike

Minnesota auto suppliers such as Twin Cities Die Castings and dealerships think a broadened or lengthy strike could have big economic repercussions.

Inflation rises again, and Twin Cities residents are feeling the pinch

Gas and shelter prices continued to rise in August, pushing up consumer prices by 0.6% for the month and 3.7% so far this year
Matt Varilek, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, whose MinnesotaWorks.net website  was hacked.

DEED's jobs website for unemployed Minnesotans hacked

The Department of Employment and Economic Development has notified jobseekers of the unauthorized access to information in the MinnesotaWorks.net website.
Ron Zenk, CEO of Humanetics, announced the military awarded a $20 million contract to develop a pill that can help soldiers and Navy personnel fend of

Defense Dept. to buy Edina firm's drug for radiation exposure that could also treat long COVID

Humanetics received a $20 million Department of Defense contract to develop the drug to prevent long-term damage from radiation.
Douglas Guerra, who has organized protest marches on construction job sites for CTUL members, stands for a portrait outside the nonprofit workers’ r

Federal worker complaints rise with union activity in Minnesota

National Labor Relations Board complaints this year in Minnesota and nationally are already above full 2021 and 2022 levels. Organizers expect even more in 2024.
Amazon workers at the SN1 Brooklyn Park facility modeled their newly designed company hijabs. From left, Anisa Gerad, Binto Jabril and Hinda Falug.

Amazon partners with Minneapolis company for warehouse-safe hijabs

The idea came out of the Brooklyn Park facility, which unveiled the hijabs this week.
Blandin Paper has reached a deal with the Teamsters.

Blandin Paper Co., Teamsters reach deal to end strike in Grand Rapids

The union has been on strike since July 15, demanding better wages.
United Stated Department of Labor building in Washington, D.C. (Mark Gomez/Dreamstime.com/TNS) ORG XMIT: 73153775W

Rosemount Aerospace will pay $712K to settle charges it discriminated against Black job seekers

The company cooperated with a Department of Labor compliance review that found discrepancies.
After 92 years, Star Choice Credit Union in Bloomington will merge with and become SharePoint Credit Union in January.

Bloomington-based Star Choice and SharePoint credit unions will merge

The merger creates the eighth-largest credit union in the Twin Cities.
In Minnetonka on July 28, John Browning held a photo of himself from 1968. The 77-year-old Vietnam veteran struggled to find a new job for over two ye

Older workers face hurdles in job searches even with historically low unemployment

Minnesota seniors say they have faced discrimination in hiring. Job counselors say they definitely have a harder time finding jobs.
HIway and Spire credit unions are combining. Shown are Dave Boden, CEO of Hiway Credit Union, left, and Dan Stoltz, CEO of Spire Credit Union.

Spire and Hiway are merging to create Minnesota's fourth largest credit union

Spire and Hiway Credit Union will merge, get new name and rank 4th largest in Minnesota
Taco John’s in the downtown Minneapolis skyway closed for good Friday. Employees, who learned about the closing Wednesday, gathered Friday just befo

Minneapolis skyway loses another one: Taco John's closes

The restaurant served its last customer Friday afternoon, the closure the latest casualty of the struggling downtown lunch scene.
Allianz Field is seen from across the I-94 freeway Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022 in St. Paul, Minn. The neighborhood surrounding Allianz Field buzzes with

Plans to develop neighborhood around Allianz Field move forward again

After seven years, plans to redevelop the area around the Minnesota United stadium will begin in September. The redevelopment group led by Bill McGuire refiled plans for United Village with the city of St. Paul this week.
Diversity progress stalls at the top of Minnesota companies

Diversity progress stalls at the top of Minnesota companies

The number of women in leadership has stalled at Minnesota public companies, and growth in diversity at the top has slowed. More, Minnesota's behind national norms.
U.S. Bancorp’s acquisition of MUFG has helped its bottom line.

U.S. Bank sees early gains as it integrates MUFG Union Bank customers

U.S. Bank executives in Minnesota discuss MUFG customer integration and how bank's deposits were affected by bank failures in New York and California.
Sappi Fine Paper in Cloquet and UPM Blandin Paper Mill in Grand Rapids are both mills under pressure with the decline and dim hopes for the future of

Blandin Paper, union workers in Grand Rapids back at the negotiating table after strike

Over 160 workers at the Grand Rapids, Minn., plant, members of the Teamsters, are demanding better wages and staffing levels.
Delia Roca made Minnesota her home after being widowed at 40 in the Philippines. She died June 23 at age 101.

A happy spirit and love of family drove Delia Roca, 101, through hardship and change

The Philippines native made Minnesota her home after being widowed at 40. She died June 23 at age 101.