Ted Bigos

Bigos Management Inc.

Minneapolis native Ted Bigos started buying and fixing up rundown apartment buildings during college. Forty years later, his Golden Valley-based Bigos Management — with 42 properties and 8,000 units — is one of the largest apartment owners in the Twin Cities.

Bigos built his portfolio primarily through acquisitions and is a long-term holder. His most recent purchase was Kellogg Square, a 32-story apartment tower in downtown St. Paul, which he acquired for $51 million and is investing around $7 million in renovations. He also purchased Regency Woods, a 282-unit complex in Minnetonka, for $33 million and recently completed a major rehab.

Bigos is also a developer and is nearing completion of Be @ The Calhoun Greenway, a 186-unit apartment building near his existing Calhoun Greenway apartments in south Minneapolis. It will open Dec. 1.

Q: How did you get into the business?

A: I bought a really rundown, junky building in south Minneapolis with 35 apartments and just eight occupied, and just started buying them, fixing them and selling them and then just started keeping them forever.

Q: What do you look for in acquisitions?

A: I tend to go for larger complexes … and traditionally, they're 15 to 25 years old, so it's time for kitchen updates and a clubhouse update. Then we try and do a whole new theme … and try and make it the best of its class — whether it's an A, B or C building.

Q: What are your plans for Kellogg Square?

A: We're redoing it all. It didn't have an ­amenity package that a building of this size should have, so we just put in a really cool exercise room with open, high ceilings and a new business center. We're adding a movie theater and redoing all of the apartments, hallways and lobby. On the third floor there's this really underutilized space with an old tennis court, and we're gutting everything and putting in lounges, fire pits and public areas. It's all about amenities.

Q: Have you ever seen so much apartment development in Minneapolis?

A: Every time I make a right-hand turn, I see a new apartment complex going up. Our city is changing. Look at what's happening in the North Loop, Loring Park and downtown Minneapolis getting all those new high-rises. The face of Minneapolis and St. Paul is changing.

Q: Have you considered the Macy's site?

A: I called up [the city of St. Paul] to see about maybe putting apartments up there, but a group from California I think has it under contract … They're going to try and do some retail and apartments.

Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at wolfliz99@aol.com.