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Events, leadership, Local business, Newsroom, real estate

She Paved the way for Women in Commercial Real Estate

Helen Brooks. Photo by David Sherman

Helen Brooks. Photo by David Sherman

As one of the first female leaders in the Twin Cities real estate community, Helen Brooks paved the way for women in commercial real estate.

When she first embarked on a career in commercial real estate, finding a company that would take a chance on hiring a woman was a challenge. At that time, women simply were not in the industry. Brooks got her feet wet at Premiere Realty when they hired her in 1965. She spent four years at the company before venturing out on her own and founding Brokers’ Exchange in 1969. After working for nine years on many successful deals with clients such as Pizza Hut, White Castle and McDonald’s, Bill Reiling and Fred Lamb of Towle Real Estate offered her a position. Brooks quickly became known industry-wide as “that woman at Towle,” successfully working with many satisfied clients while representing the industry exceptionally well.

Brooks is one of five inductees in The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame this year. Leonard Bisanz (1918 – 2002), Thomas Crowley, M.A. Mortenson, Sr. (1905 – 1986) and Kenneth Stensby (1940 – 2013) will also be inducted this year. They will be honored at an event October 24, presented by The Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the Opus College of Business. Continue Reading

Local business, Newsroom, real estate

What’s Happening in Twin Cities Residential Real Estate? Double-digit Gains


The median sale price for all homes sold in the Twin Cities has been recording double digit year-over-year gains for the past 13 months according to the Residential Real Estate Price Report index. Many of the other market indicators are positive as well. When compared to last year, new listings are up 26 percent and pending sales are up 17.9 percent.

The continuing uptick in sale price is a good sign that the market is recovering, according to Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs here in the Opus College of Business. But should homeowners be concerned that another bubble is looming?

Tousley says there are two reasons that the housing market is not headed for another bubble.

Read more in the UST Newsroom or in the complete May 2013 Minneapolis St. Paul Residential Real Estate Index report. Additional media coverage of this month’s report included the Star Tribune and BusinessWeek Online.

Centers, leadership, Local business, Newsroom, real estate

Douglas Dayton (1924-2013) influenced retail real estate locally, nationally

“What is good for the community is good for business.” – Douglas Dayton

I’ve gotten to talk with some interesting people but Doug Dayton was one of my favorites. In part because he built two of my retail favorites; Target and Southdale. He was also good to work with while putting together information used to make this video  for the MN Real Estate Hall of Fame. Sad to hear this news of his passing this weekend.

Via Bring Me The News: The Strib’s Neal St. Anthony notes that Douglas Dayton was the youngest of five Dayton brothers who took over their father’s department store in the 1940s and built it into publicly held Dayton Hudson Corp, one of the nation’s largest regional department store chains.

This video, made for UST’s Shenehon Center Real Estate Hall of Fame, has a nice history of the Dayton brothers, as told by Douglas Dayton:

From the Dayton Brother’s Hall of Fame induction: Continue Reading

Newsroom, real estate

Real Estate Analysis: Twin Cities Data for February Offers More Signs of a Recovering Market


  A Recovering Market

An analysis of Twin Cities real estate data for February shows that the housing market is continuing to recover along with the economy; home prices, new-home construction, and the percentage of traditional sales (not foreclosures) are all on the upswing.

Meanwhile, a historically low number of homes on the market is continuing to put upward pressure on sale prices.

In the Twin Cities, the median sale price of a traditional home (not a foreclosure or short sale) was $205,500 in February. That’s up 2.75 percent over the January median price of $199,000 and up 14.2 percent over the February 2012 median price of $180,000. Continue Reading

Ethics, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, real estate

The Making of a Walmart Shopper

From Flickr user laurieofindy

I’m admitting something that may cause some of my friends to hate and shun me.  Others will try to change my mind, citing all the politically correct reasons why Walmart is evil incarnate.  I know I’ve crossed a line where some of you can’t and won’t follow.  But, in my little community – the southeastern-most section of Brooklyn Center – Walmart has become one of the places I frequent.

To be honest, the first time I wheeled into the new Walmart in Brooklyn Center this September, I wanted to hate it. Because it occupied the site of my former beloved Brookdale Mall. The working class version of Southdale, it of the famed animal-themed parking signs.

But, as I slowly explored the massive aisles and sections of the new Walmart superstore, it felt like I’d returned to my childhood. It brought to mind pleasant memories of the old Woolworth’s store at Brookdale and the Zayre Shopper’s City on Osseo Road (preceding Brooklyn Blvd.) and 63rd – places my sisters worked during high school. Continue Reading

Events, Newsroom, real estate

Learn about the Downtown Minneapolis Whole Foods Market

Mark SchoeningMark Shoening, senior vice president of retail at Ryan Companies US, will discuss current development projects, including the Whole Foods Market project in downtown Minneapolis, as well as the challenges and opportunities in the development of retail real estate. A pioneer in the design-build approach, Ryan Companies is a full service commercial real estate firm with expertise in development, architecture and engineering, capital markets, construction and real estate management.

The Real Estate Executive Insights Series is presented by the Opus College of Business MSRE program. This series invites speakers from the real estate industry to provide valuable information and discussion about hot topics and current trends. This is a free program and is open to the public. Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Alumni, real estate

IKEA expands into new territory: International property development

By Dan Jackson M.B.A. ’12 cross posted from Real Estate Matters

The Big Blue Box, furniture products that are easy to assemble, cheap and affordable, yet chic items, Swedish meatballs and cheap meals are all items that remind people of the retail giant IKEA.  But the retailer wants to get you to think outside of the box.

The popular Swedish home furniture products company IKEA has its sights set on expanding its well-known footprint.  The next endeavor for the company, which already has a large international presence, revolves around building entire communities where people will be able to live, work, stay and play.  According to the Globe and Mail IKEA is “launching a bold push into the business of designing, building and operating entire urban neighbourhoods.”  The Globe continues to state that while this is a new and bold endeavor for the furniture icon they still want these new neighborhoods to have an emphasis on the traditional affordability concept that IKEA is well-known for with its furniture products model.  One of IKEA’s current slogans is “Affordable solutions for living better,” and this is the type of slogan that the property development division anticipates as they move forward into the first phase of development of these new communities.  The property development team wants to create communities that are beautiful, well-maintained and allow for a maximum lifestyle benefit, but yet still affordable for families and individuals. Continue Reading

Newsroom, real estate

Real Estate Development: London 2012 Olympics Redefine the Urban Experience

Greenwich Park, London’s oldest Royal Park, Photo from the London 2012 galleries.

This by Dan Jackson, M.B.A. ’12, is adapted from our blog, Real Estate Matters.

The marathon is a popular Olympic sport.  The official distance of the marathon is 26.2 miles or 26 miles, 385 yards.  Have you ever wondered why this particular distance?  Olympic Fun Facts  explains, “It was decided at the 1908 Olympic Games in London that the royal family needed a better view of the finish line, so Olympic organizers added an extra 385 yards (0.2 miles) so the finish line would be right in front of the royal box.”

Every four years, several hundred million people across the world tune in to the Summer Olympic Games to check out their favorite athletes and to show support and solidarity for their country.  A little over 100 years later, London has just completed its third time as the host city for this world event.

While many spectators enjoy the great athleticism and sportsmanship that takes place during the Olympic Games, it can be easy to overlook the economic and real estate development that the Olympic Games can provide for the host city.  A study by Locate in Kent, found there is much evidence that Olympic Games have an immediate short-term impact on the host city and region in terms of local investment and regeneration. Benefits arise from the level of economic activity around staging the Games, to upgrade sporting, entertainment and general urban infrastructure. This also can lead to additional permanent employment after the games and may lead to longer-term impacts.  I’d like to provide a brief snapshot of the real estate development that was part of the preparation for the 2012 London Olympics Games. Continue Reading

Centers, Newsroom, real estate

UST Real Estate Analysis: 5 Upward Months in Metro

Arrows on the Twin Cities real estate chart pointed upward for the fifth consecutive month, according to the Residential Real Estate Price Report Index, a monthly analysis of the 13-county Twin Cities area prepared by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.

“Twin Cities’ housing data for June continued to show encouraging signs for the fifth month in a row,” observed Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at the university.

Will the trend will continue?  “In 2011 the market was in a similar condition after a spring and early summer run-up, only to be derailed by a lack of confidence created by the federal debt-level-ceiling controversy, the U.S. government credit downgrade, and the emergence of financial problems in Europe,” Tousley said.

Read the full story in the Newsroom for some of the encouraging signs found in June’s market data.

Local business, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, OCB Commentary, real estate

Market Analysis Process: Downtown Mpls. Neiman Marcus closes its doors: What’s next?

By Dan Jackson, M.B.A. ’12

An article in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal recently reported that Neiman Marcus, a high-end retailer in downtown Minneapolis would be closing its doors in July of 2013.  This is not the first time that a high-end retailer has decided to close its doors or had to alter its image in downtown Minneapolis.  The article stated that in 2004, Saks Fifth Avenue reconfigured its main store concept into Saks Off Fifth, a lower-priced version of the well-known retailer.

With the announcement of this closure, I got to thinking about the possibilities of a tenant that could fit into the space that has been held by Neiman Marcus for about 20 years.  I reflected on a moment from my studies at St. Thomas.  One particular UST real estate course (REAL 746), introduces students to the techniques used to determine the best and highest use of a site from a market analysis and feasibility perspective.  It is a course that I took this past spring.  While there were many techniques that we learned throughout the course of the semester, six factors immediately come to mind when trying to provide market analysis for a particular site.  I’d like to walk you through each of these six factors and highlight important elements about the site that relate to each of these factors, but ultimately will leave it up to you to decide what kind of tenant(s) would be a good fit for a replacement. Continue Reading