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Best of Real Estate Matters

Best of Real Estate Matters – #4: The 14 Million Dollar Question


Block E - Minneapolis

Timing worked well in scheduling Bob Lux, principal at Alatus, to speak at the Real Estate Executive Insight Series. When this session was scheduled in December of 2010, a casino in Block E had not been put on the table. Alatus had purchased Block E but no plans had been released about how they were going to improve upon the troubled area. By the time Bob came in to speak in March, it was all over the news. Bob spoke about how he got into the business and other development projects he completed such as Grand Park Condominiums and the Carlyle Condominiums. Here is a recap of the event:

Best of Real Estate Matters – #4: The 14 Million Dollar Question

The redevelopment of Block E was clearly a big topic in 2011. Two of our most read blog posts talked about the project. If you haven’t read it already, Best of Real Estate Matters #9 – A Deal Alatus Could Not Refuse talks about the history of the Block E site.

Best of Real Estate Matters

Best of Real Estate Matters – #9: A Deal Alatus Could Not Refuse

Block E

Proposed Block E Casino (from

This popular blog post from 2011 tells the story of Block E – from its position as an epicenter of Minneapolis in the early 1850’s to a troubled retail and entertainment center today. Alatus purchased the property at about 14% of the original development cost. The big question now is what they do with the property.

 Best of Real Estate Matters – #9: A Deal Alatus Could Not Refuse

Today, Block E is down to just a few tenants including the AMC movie theater and Kieran’s Irish Pub a fairly new tenant who relocated to better attract crowds from the Target Center and Target Field. Plans for a casino are still being talked about as part of the funding for a new Vikings stadium. Here is an article from the Star Tribune about the progress:

Development, Industry News

An answer to the 14 Million Dollar Question – Minneapolis Block E Casino Plans Revealed


block e wikipedia-thumb-250x187



From this   ||  ^^To this^^

Yesterday, at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Mr. Bob Lux and his partners at Alatus LLC unveiled their vision for Minnesota Live, the name of the upscale casino and retail facility that they are proposing as the solution for the beleaguered Block E complex, as well as pitching the idea as the new engine for driving downtown Minneapolis commerce and tourism.

Some of the key projections behind this plan were outlined by Mr. Lux, as he spoke to the press and members of the Minnesota legislature.

“Innovation projects the casino would create up to 2,800 full-time gambling jobs, up to 625 construction jobs and about 1,000 indirect jobs. The traffic would be projected to generate a need for 84,000 additional hotel room nights, expanding the occupancy rate in downtown Minneapolis hotels by about 5 percent annually. That traffic would also produce a stream of gambling tax revenue for state coffers — a one-time fee of $50 million initially and an ongoing tax stream of about $125 million a year once it was up and running. Lux estimates the state would get an additional $5 million in tax revenue just from the additional traffic in parking ramps.”

A month ago, Bob Lux of Alatus spoke about the Block E investment at the UST Real Estate Executive Insight Series and simply stated:

“A building that cost $130+ million to develop seven years ago, that is being offered for $14 million, well I’d say that’s the fundamental valuation I considered. However, the real reason we purchased the site, what attracted us most, was the 550 underground parking stalls- that is our business and how we viewed the site. I was also concerned about Block E, the neighborhood (Downtown Hennepin Avenue) is at a tipping point, and if Block E failed it may be enough to have a serious impact on the neighborhood and real estate values downtown.”

Although he carefully dodged questions about casino plans for Block “E” when speaking at UST, the company has officially released their plans to improve the neighborhood by transforming the space into a luxury casino and gaming hub.  This plan forecasts thousands of jobs, millions in sales, and a boost to the state’s revenue all without the need for public funding.

The Star Tribune posted this announcement with more information about the plans:

Read more about the History of Block E and the Real Estate Executive Insight presentation by Bob Lux.