St. Paul Office Market

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mulad
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Re: Downtown St Paul looks to LRT for growth

Postby mulad » October 15th, 2013, 10:06 am

Heh, I had to laugh at one comment where a woman asked "Are streetcars even heated?" Sigh.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Downtown St Paul looks to LRT for growth

Postby Mdcastle » October 15th, 2013, 11:47 am

I actually don't think that's such an odd question. Not many people are still here that would have ridden a Twin Cities streetcar, you wouldn't necessarily do so even if you visited a city that had them, and the image everyone has in their mind is the San Francisco cable cars.

at40man
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Re: Downtown St Paul looks to LRT for growth

Postby at40man » October 15th, 2013, 12:19 pm

There are some people who haven't ever been on a train, but get their mental image as seen the choo-choos in Western movies.

Then, there are other people who use that as an "acceptable" anti-rail argument.

lordmoke
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby lordmoke » January 14th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Travellers is selling their tower, because they apparently don't use it. This will not impact jobs at all.
http://www.startribune.com/business/288578471.html

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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby Tcmetro » January 14th, 2015, 7:27 pm

Hopefully an entire vacant, 17-story, (generally) modern office tower will be enticing to potential tenants downtown. It'd be a shame for such a large building to go empty.

In related urban fantasy news, Washington St between 5th and St Peter would make a wonderful woonerf. :P

EDIT: and lol, f antasy becomes pantasy now.

bus14
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby bus14 » January 15th, 2015, 12:33 am

Wow. This move could just blow up the vacancy rate in St. Paul. From the looks of it your basically taking a 769k sq ft building (from a PiPress article) from Owner Occupied status to Competitive. A 14% vacancy rate for Class A (from spdatasource.org) will grow to 37%!! :o

I suppose the silver lining is you'll now have what was largely a vacant office building filled with actual office workers. But this is still essentially dumping a large class A spec building on the St Paul market virtually out of nowhere.

MNdible
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby MNdible » January 15th, 2015, 10:25 am

It sounds like they had been actively trying to sublease the space for a while, so I'm not sure how much this will actually change the dynamics.

It is interesting, though, to consider that as bad as St. Paul's vacancy numbers were, there was a hidden 800k of empty space that wasn't being counted.

mattaudio
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby mattaudio » January 15th, 2015, 10:31 am

I'm sure 800k sf would have housed senators with plenty of room.

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MN Fats
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby MN Fats » January 15th, 2015, 10:39 am

mattaudio wrote:I'm sure 800k sf would have housed senators with plenty of room.
:lol: Great point! They had to have known about it too, since it was apparently on the market for a while, right?

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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby mattaudio » January 15th, 2015, 10:43 am

I think it's fair to say that a lack of available office space in DT St. Paul was *not* the justification for the new Senate building.

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MN Fats
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby MN Fats » January 15th, 2015, 11:01 am

mattaudio wrote:I think it's fair to say that a lack of available office space in DT St. Paul was *not* the justification for the new Senate building.
What was the justification then? Admittedly I'm not super familiar with both sides of the issue, I just know it was shoved in to the budget bill last minute.

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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby David Greene » January 15th, 2015, 11:06 am

MN Fats wrote:What was the justification then? Admittedly I'm not super familiar with both sides of the issue, I just know it was shoved in to the budget bill last minute.
Access, mainly. Senators run between their offices, committee, caucus and floor meetings all the time. So do people visiting Senators. It's amazing how much you have to run around to see everyone on your list.

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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby twincitizen » January 15th, 2015, 11:28 am

That's all true, but there were certainly other ways to fix the issue without adding a new building to the capitol complex. While the Senators and their staff need to be in very close proximity to the Capitol, for the reasons David stated, there are several nearby state office buildings that could've met the need. Those displaced state workers (like say, MNDOT next door) could have been moved downtown. Being downtown would probably improve quality of life for many state workers (more walkable lunch options via skyway, better transit via express buses from suburban park & rides, etc.)

But what's done is done. The DFL leadership made their bed and now they're lying in it. It's too bad they opted to do a rush job on the approval process, but it does seem like they had to figure something out fast, due to the Capitol renovation process. Chalk it up to poor pre-planning of their needs. Department of Administration could have done a better job on that end, offering alternatives to new construction.

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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby David Greene » January 15th, 2015, 10:10 pm

twincitizen wrote:That's all true, but there were certainly other ways to fix the issue without adding a new building to the capitol complex. While the Senators and their staff need to be in very close proximity to the Capitol, for the reasons David stated, there are several nearby state office buildings that could've met the need. Those displaced state workers (like say, MNDOT next door) could have been moved downtown. Being downtown would probably improve quality of life for many state workers (more walkable lunch options via skyway, better transit via express buses from suburban park & rides, etc.)
Oh I entirely agree. I wonder though if, for example, Mn/DOT losing access to the tunnels was a deal-breaker. Most likely no one bothered to investigate it seriously.

I really don't get the DFL's insistence that some (presumably high-ranking) senators maintain offices in the renovated capitol. The whole senate split between the Capitol and State Office Building* was always a huge pain in the rear for anyone trying to move stuff at the legislature. I guess they just need to feel important.


* Leading to my all-time favorite move of the Republicans: the effort to rename the State Office Building after Ronald Reagan, leading to the inveitable christening of it as the "Ronald Reagan SOB."

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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby Snelbian » January 16th, 2015, 8:08 am

I wouldn't worry about the Travelers tower blowing the vacancy rates through the roof or anything like that. The north tower has been mostly empty for years, and EcoLab is already in the process of purchasing it (source: I have a LOT of family working at Travelers and the purchase is widely known).

bus14
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby bus14 » January 16th, 2015, 9:03 am

Snelbian wrote:I wouldn't worry about the Travelers tower blowing the vacancy rates through the roof or anything like that. The north tower has been mostly empty for years, and EcoLab is already in the process of purchasing it (source: I have a LOT of family working at Travelers and the purchase is widely known).
Whew! Do you know if they'll be expanding or moving people from Eagan. Or just shuffling people out of their buildings on Wabasha St?

Snelbian
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby Snelbian » January 16th, 2015, 9:27 am

No clue, sorry.

nate
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Re: St. Paul Office Market

Postby nate » January 16th, 2015, 12:23 pm

I really like the Ecolab tower (easily the best of the 60's/70's/80's era in St Paul imo) but I wonder if its interior has kept pace with contemporary office needs.

I'd speculate that Ecolab plans a reshuffle between the Travelers tower, the 60's tower, and the art deco building on 5th and Wabasha, which would end up on the Class B/C market (or could be sold for a conversion to housing)

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Traveler's Tower

Postby at40man » February 19th, 2015, 9:12 pm

Busy news day for downtown St Paul development! I seem to recall some pessimistic conversation regarding the Traveler's tower going on the market -- but for the life of me, I can't find that thread. Either way, Ecolab is buying the tower, and it seems to be the perfect size for them to move their suburban operations -- or vacate their current buildings downtown.

If they are consolidating operations, then another 1100 employees working in downtown St Paul is certainly a significant win for the city! 8-)

http://www.twincities.com/business/ci_2 ... lers-tower

at40man
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Re: Traveler's Tower

Postby at40man » February 19th, 2015, 9:28 pm

I found another article in the PiPress for a year and a half ago - some encouraging quotes from Ecolab's CEO:

"As I consolidate in the Midwest, I'm consolidating there," Baker said. Illinois state taxes are lower than Minnesota, he noted. And, given the company's spacious campus in Eagan, all the St. Paul operations could easily be moved there, he said.

But Baker says that Ecolab is "committed to having a major presence downtown. All things being equal, that's our strong preference." In the bigger picture, "a deteriorating downtown ends up weakening the whole region," he added.

http://www.twincities.com/stpaul/ci_239 ... growth-and


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