The University of St. Thomas

Twin Cities Real Estate Agent and UST MSRE Student Brandon Doyle Offers 3D Virtual Tours of His Listings

Brandon Doyle is a Twin Cities tech-savvy real estate agent currently pursuing a master of science in real estate at the University of St. Thomas. He is also a licensed salesperson with RE/MAX Results in Minnesota. His creativity in the real estate sector has been drawing more public attention toward his work. He was recently featured in a Star Tribune article for his innovative use of a 3D camera made by Matterport, a California-based startup that offers a major breakthrough in HQ, rapid 3D visualization of physical spaces.

Source: Star Tribune

Source: Star Tribune

Equipped with such a sophisticated camera, Doyle offers a breathtaking three-dimensional virtual tour experience of his listings. Aware of potential competitions that this technology would bring in once adopted by other Minnesota real estate agents, Doyle states “My focus is on real estate, and, at the end of the day, that’s my career and that’s where I’ll spend my time.”

Published on: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

UST MSRE Student Profile – Brandon Doyle, Realtor

The UST Opus College of Business Master’s in Real Estate program welcomes the new class to the 2014-2015 academic year!  Take a look at a brief snapshot of the students in this year’s class.

FULL NAME:  Brandon DoyleDoyle - Photo

What is your educational background and experience?
Bachelor of Science in Real Estate from St. Cloud State University.
Doyle Real Estate Team – RE/MAX Results  REALTOR

Why did you choose the MSRE program at UST?
I joined the MSRE program in order to network with other top professionals in the real estate industry.

What are your future career goals?
I’m currently growing my residential real estate team and am looking to expand into commercial, investments, and development.

As you enter the MSRE program, what aspect of the program are you most excited about?
I’m excited to have the opportunity to connect with other top professionals in the real estate industry, as well as MBA and Law students.

What do you enjoy most about the real estate industry?
 The opportunities within the real estate industry are endless, you’re able to create your own career path and are constantly interacting with other professionals.

What is your favorite non-real estate pastime and why?
I enjoy traveling and experiencing new cultures.

Published on: Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Rezoning, new tax credits, economic shifts hit real estate law

Wells FargoThe folowing was reposted from an article written by the staff of the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

We asked leaders of the biggest real-estate law practice groups to tell us about mistakes clients make, cases they’re interested in and how the practice is changing. Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Thomas Bray, shareholder at No. 1 Briggs and Morgan

What are the most common mistakes clients make in real estate law?“The two most common mistakes I see are first, clients assuming their property is free of title concerns, and failing to identify and resolve potential title issues before undertaking to sell or mortgage the property. The second common mistake is clients failing to appreciate the costs and disputes that can arise from an unfavorable or poorly drafted lease, and devoting inadequate time and attention to lease review and negotiation.”

What real estate cases issues in Minnesota are you following right now?“The 2006 amendments to the eminent domain statute made it significantly more difficult for municipalities to work with developers on certain types of redevelopment projects. If the economy continues to strengthen, we will be curious to see if municipalities will attempt to persuade the Legislature to expand that authority of municipalities to use eminent domain for redevelopment. We are also closely following St. Paul’s development of the zoning ordinances that will govern redevelopment of the Ford plant.”

Christopher Dolan, real estate group chairman at No. 2 (tie) Fredrikson & Byron

What areas of real estate law are growing and which are contracting? “We have a significant number of health care clients who have been active for the past few years in developing, leasing and purchasing real estate projects. We also have a strong corporate department that has been very active in the merger/acquisition markets. These deals often include a substantial amount of real estate that have kept many of our real estate attorneys busy over the past few years. As for markets that have declined, foreclosures and work-out matters declined as the real estate market improved. While the level of development work is getting much stronger than in the past, we have not yet reached the levels we experienced before the Great Recession.”

Todd Urness, shareholder at No. 2 (tie) Winthrop & Weinstine

What areas of real estate law are growing and which are contracting? “ The recently enacted state historic tax credit provides additional assistance for the rehabilitation of historically significant buildings. We have noticed keen interest in clients using this subsidy to preserve historic structures, particularly in the North Loop and Minneapolis riverfront. Also, the demand for luxury rental housing construction has created a lot of demand for legal services in that area. Some areas of real estate finance and development, such as loan securitizations and condominium development, have not participated in the recovery, and demand for these types of legal services continues to be depressed.”

Mark Hamel, real estate and land use department head at No. 9 Dorsey & Whitney

What real estate cases in Minnesota are you following right now? “I rarely follow real estate cases. Real estate cases are the domain of trial lawyers. I try to steer my clients as far from litigation as possible. I read real estate decisions after they are handed down by the courts.”

Published on: Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Shipping Container Building Proposed for Minneapolis North Loop

A unique office building to be constructed of shipping containers has been proposed for a small site in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood. The project is being developed by Akquracy, a Minneapolis-based marketing firm that will be the primary tenant for the office space. Its located just blocks from Target Field, near two other recent creative office developments in the Ford Center and the new Be The Match headquarters building.


The building will be about 18,000 square feet, consisting of office space and a small café/restaurant space with outdoor seating. The design involves fifty shipping containers, each 75 feet in length. The containers will be stacked three levels high, with a portion of the building elevated over a public plaza. To minimize foundation piling due soil conditions on site, one triangular half of the building will sit on top of an existing underground parking structure, while the other half is shifted one level upwards. The lifting of half the building allows for the creation of covered plaza space and opens up the street corner.

The developer for this project commissioned New York-based architectural firm LOT-EK to design the building. The firm is known for its use of “up-cycling,” or repurposing unique materials in order to create unique designs and build sustainably. Shipping containers have become an increasing popular building material in recent years, having been used for everything from small homes to multifamily and office buildings.

Published on: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

St. Thomas real estate analysis for August: Big drop in foreclosures and strong demand for moderate-priced homes

 Market ReportThe percent of foreclosure and short sales is back to 2007, pre-crash levels;

it’s more evidence that the Twin Cities housing market has recovered.

 Minneapolis, Minn. –     An analysis of the 13-county Twin Cities real estate market for August found a healthy decrease in the number of foreclosures along with a stronger demand for moderately priced homes than for higher-priced homes.

 Each month the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business looks for real estate trends in the Twin Cities and tracks the median price for three types of sales: nondistressed or traditional-type sales, foreclosures, and short sales (when a home is sold for less than the outstanding mortgage balance).

 “During the early part of this year the percentage of distressed sales was hovering near 30 percent,” said Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at the university. “In August, the percent of distressed sales was 10.6 percent, a level not seen since mid-2007. More importantly, the number of new foreclosures continues to drop; that means there should be even fewer distressed sales in the next 12 to 18 months.”

mortgages After a persistent period of l0w inventory, the number of homes available to purchase has increased to 18,205. That compares to 16,747 in August 2013 and is now near pre-housing-crash levels.

 “The increase in the number of homes for sale will result in a better balance between buyers and sellers,” Tousley said. “Buyers will have more choices as the market moves from a seller’s market to a normal equilibrium.”

 Another trend the Shenehon Center follows is the number of homes available in different price brackets. By comparing the asking price of homes in the Twin Cities and how many were sold, the Shenehon Center found a stronger demand for homes priced under $140,000 than homes listed at $300,000 or higher.

Home prices in August

 Median sale prices for the Twin Cities recovered in August from a slight decline observed in July. The median price of a traditional (nondistressed) home increased to $228,000 in August, close to the high-water mark for the year set in June at $229,900. Compared to August of last year, the sale price for a traditional home is up 5.3 percent in 2014.

 Overall, the number of closed sales in August was down 7.3 percent compared to the same month a year ago, but it’s not all bad news because most of the decrease was due to a sharp decline in the number of distressed sales. Compared to last year, August saw a 4.6 percent increase in traditional sales, a 58 percent decrease in short sales, and a 50 percent decrease in foreclosure sales.

The UST composite indexes

Each month the Shenehon Center tracks nine housing-market data elements, including the median price for three types of sales, and creates an index for each: nondistressed or traditional-type sales, foreclosures, and short sales.

 The composite index for traditional sales moved up just one point in August, to 1086, but it’s a new yearly high and reflects the strong market for traditional sales seen in 2014. 

 The composite index for short sales was 936 in August, up 14 points from July. It also is up 5.3 percent compared to one year ago. “Look for the short sale index to play a less significant role in our analysis as the number of short sales drops below 3 percent of the total monthly sales,” Tousley said. 

 The composite index for the foreclosure market moved from 804 in July to 810 in August. The index is 2.3 per cent higher when compared to August 2013.


Published on: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

2014 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame Inductees Announced


The Shenehon Center for Real Estate is pleased to announce
the 2014 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame Inductees

George R. Karvel, Ph.D.
Cyril “Cy” Kuefler, Sr.
Jim Stanton

Join the Shenehon Center for Real Estate for the 2014 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Thursday, November 6, 2014
7:30 a.m. Sign-in
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Awards Ceremony featuring keynote speaker Robert Senkler, CEO, Securian Financial Group

Event Details
Golden Valley Golf and Country Club
7001 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55427

Individual cost: $50
Sponsor a table for 10: $700

The Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business has established
the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame to honor, preserve and perpetuate the names and outstanding accomplishments
of real estate leaders who have made a significant contribution in real estate and demonstrated care and concern for
improving their community as a business leader

Published on: Friday, September 26th, 2014

Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA) Completes $73 Million High School in Alexandria, MN

The beginning of the 2014-15 school year couldn’t be any better for the Alexandria School District in Alexandria, MN. Just in time, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company (KA) has completed a $73 million and 280,000-square-foot senior high school for the district.

The new high school commons (Source:

The new high school commons (Source:

Designed by Cuningham Group Architects to be a flexible learning environment, the new high school will house 1,400 students and replace the district’s Jefferson High School which was initially built in 1957. Speaking of flexibility, Trevor Peterson, director of business services for the district, adds “Not knowing what education is going to look like five years from now or 15 years from now, we needed to make the building adaptable”.

Published on: Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Minneapolis Has Already Surpassed the 1 Million Mark in Construction Projects for 2014

Based on “the total valuation of building permits in Minneapolis since 2000” posted by Star Tribune, as of August 14, 2014, Minneapolis already surpassed the $1 billion mark in construction projects for this year. With $1.211 billion in construction projects so far, the city just exceeded the $1 billion mark for the third consecutive time since 2000. About half of this year’s total valuation so far came from the construction of Vikings Stadium ($241 million) and Downtown East apartments and office tours located on 550 S 4th Street, 600 S 4th Street, 510 S 4th Street, and 640 S 4th Street (All valued at $219 million).

Architects rendering of 'Downtown East' - development on Star Tribune site, next to new Vikings stadium " gameday aerial view' (Source: Star Tribune)

Architects rendering of ‘Downtown East’ – development on Star Tribune site, next to new Vikings stadium
” gameday aerial view’ (Source: Star Tribune)


Published on: Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

We Remember 2011 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame Inductee, Robert Leonard Hoffman

Robert Leonard Hoffman, a 2011 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame Inductee, died on July 29, 2014 at the age of 85. Co-founder of the Larkin, Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren law firm and described as “the dean of Twin Cities land-use lawyers”, Hoffman crucially contributed in notable real estate projects such as the development of the Mall of America. He also proudly served his community as a Bloomington city councilman for 14 years and on the Metropolitan council for 7 years.

YouTube Preview Image


Published on: Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Eagan Outlet Center to Feature Snow Melter

The new Twin Cities Premium Outlets center opening in Eagan next month will feature a unique piece of equipment to help manage snow in the winter. Rather than store snow on site or pay to have it hauled away, the property will use a stationary snow melter made by Trecan, a Canadian company which specializes in the design and manufacture of the machines. With capacity to melt 40 tons of snow an hour, the snow melter will help the property management keep the center’s sidewalks and 1,400 parking spaces accessible to customers during the winter months.

The snow melter at the new Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan (source: MSP Business Journal)

The Trecan snow melter at the new Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan (source: MSP Business Journal)

The Trecan machine melts snow that is dumped in by plows by mixing it with hot water heated by a natural gas burner. The snow melt then drains directly to the municipal storm sewer. A filter collects trash and other debris before it enters the sewer.

The Twin Cities Premium Outlet will be (surprisingly) the first shopping center in Minnesota to feature an on-site snow melter. It will also be the first in Simon Property Group’s portfolio of 300 shopping centers worldwide, although the company also plans to install one in a Montreal mall opening later this year.

By using the snow melter, Simon hopes to keep operating costs lower for tenants. The machine can melt 200 cubic yards of snow per hour at a cost of about $110, substantially less than the cost for haul away and off-site disposal of a comparable amount of snow. Additionally, because the property won’t need space for snow mounds the developer was able to build fewer parking spaces and keep more of them available for customers during the winter months.

The 409,000-square-foot outlet mall is set to open Aug. 14th and will have more than 100 stores. It was developed by Simon Property Group and Paragon Outlet Partners.

Published on: Thursday, July 24th, 2014