Greater MSP Transit Facts


Recently we attended a session on the Greater MSP transit system.  We found the session to be informative and helpful.  Here are some quick facts about the Greater MSP transit system.  They serve as reminders that our investment in transit, as taxpayers, is helping people gain access to jobs and education.

The Metropolitan Council that regulates bus and light rail transit for the area, recorded over 100 million trips last year.  One bus is the equivalent of 40 cars.  One 3-car LRT train is the equivalent of 600 cars.  At rush hour, buses will transport the equivalent of 1.5 lanes of traffic.  80% of riders are going to work or school and 40% of downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis workers use transit.

As a commercial real estate advisory firm that completes many tenant and buyer representation assignments, we like the access to jobs provided to employees of all wage rates.  We feel this need for public transportation will continue to be important as labor becomes more scarce and the cost to own a vehicle continues to soar.


What Does an Amazon HQ2 Mean to MSP?


We have all heard the numbers, $5 billion dollars, and 50,000 new jobs. It has enticed 238 cities and regions around North America to put together proposals luring the economic giant. Greater MSP has a lot going for them in the selection process. They are worthy cities for development, innovation, and industry. The transportation system is great, constantly improving and could meet the demands the Amazon HQ2 would bring. They are also home to 17 Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries. 

Proposed locations include Minneapolis both in Downtown and the Northloop, the former Ford plant site in St. Paul and an undisclosed location in Maple Grove. All of these places provide Outstanding opportunities for Amazon. The Twin Cities rank high in national reviews of best places to live. The cost of living to average salary makes the area very affordable. The Twin Cities also has great schools. Our lowest performing schools are doing better than many acceptable schools nationwide. 

Combined with our quality educational system, we enjoy a top ranked “quality of life” measured through a number of criteria. Our parks and trails provide  easy access to outdoor enjoyment. Minneapolis is consistently ranked the most “bike friendly” city in the country and St. Paul is following closely behind. Mass transit is becoming a new-found strength for the area and current approved plans will only make it better in the years to come.  

The Minnesota’s economy was built on people who value education and the outdoors. This has not changed over the years and  Minnesotan’s still value these strengths. This focus will continue to provide a strong workforce that is well-educated with a passion for the environment. This could be an attractive opportunity for Minnesota. We believe  it is an even better opportunity for Amazon.


Congratulations Youthlink & PPL


We are so excited for our clients and friend Youthlink as they broke ground on their new downtown facility last week. This facility will be instrumental in providing services to homeless youth in Minneapolis. It has 46 residential units as well. This 17-million-dollar project is a great partnership between Youthlink, Project for Pride for Living (PPL), and local government. IAG Commercial congratulates Youthlink and PPL on this exciting project! Thank you for all you do for our community.


-IAG Team

Grim Future Predicted for Minnesota Economy

In the last few days the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative organization released a report of possible concern for Minnesota. In this report, Minnesota seemed to fare better than many other states during the recession. Now, as we have recovered from the economic hardships, new data has surfaced that indicates we have work to do if we hope to keep growing. There are many contributing factors to the challenges Minnesota faces.. Skilled Minnesotans are leaving the state at a higher rate than people are moving into the state. While the highest area of growth is manufacturing, high-tech and venture capitalism are both in decline. Minnesotans work hard and have a high rate of two income earning families, while we have an average or below average rate of disposable income. Minnesotans are determined people and have a history of rising to the challenges before us, but unless there is growth in our GDP and other areas of commerce, the future will be challenging for Minnesota.

Chart courtesy of the Center of the American Experiment

Chart courtesy of the Center of the American Experiment

Microgrid Technologies Available New Class A Construction: Protection for Your Company and the Environment

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OATI Microgrid Technology Center is located at the Northeast intersection of 494 and Highway 100, in Bloomington. The new construction offers up to 60,000 RSF of office space. Despite the prime location, and beautiful architecture, the most impressive part of this building is the technology it utilizes. The entire facility will be able to support itself with microgrid power generation technology.

Microgrid technology is a way of using multiple sources of energy supply to support a facility or even a small community. Utilizing, solar, wind and other “green” energies to not be dependent on just one source. It enables the users to be a part of the main local power grid, but also support itself with its own power generation. Many microgrids can support themselves indefinitely. In case of storm, energy shortage or other factors, those on the microgrid will be unaffected.

This new facility is being constructed in partnership with OATI.  They have been in operation since 1995 and are constantly keeping up with energy changes and regulations.  OATI offers state of the art security as well as multi-site data storage.

OATI Microgrid Technology Center provides extremely important reliability for technology companies. With both on and offsite data centers and on-site security, companies can have confidence that their information is secure. David Buckman of IAG Commercial said:

It’s absolutely amazing to see how OATI has integrated every reasonable power source into their microgrid.  Since they can monitor every detail and every cost, it’s easy to understand how they can separate from the grid and operate as an “island”; either when it makes sense from a cost standpoint or when they need to based on a failure from outside sources. Since there’s nothing else like it in the Twin Cities, the OATI building has set the bar high for future microgrid developments.

This new property looks to be a great opportunity for many types of businesses, especially those in the technology field. “I will be very curious in the coming years to see how microgrid technology is received and how and when demand for more sites comes into play”, said David Buckman. This could be the future of backup power generation in commercial real estate.


Rice Creek Commons: New Vision for Old Land


Five years ago there was a 427 acre piece of property in Arden Hills on the news almost every night. The former ammunitions factory was the hopeful site for the Vikings new stadium. Eventually, it was decided, that the stadium would be built on the site of its existing location.

The land in Arden Hills took on a new vision in 2013. The site, formerly known as TCAAP (Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant) was changed to Rice Creek Commons. The master plan includes commercial, residential and green space uses. The soil on site has been restored to residential grade. This land is surrounded by wetlands and a wildlife space. An additional 96 acres was purchased to create a new regional park that will have access to regional park trails as well. With 159 Acres available for commercial use including; retail, office, mixed use and flex business space, it will provide many development opportunities.  

The developers are hoping to attract a major employer, potentially from the biosciences field, to be a flagship industry for the development. This space offers a great benefit to businesses with ample housing and easy walkable commutes for employees that relocate to the area. Metro Transit is also in negotiations to extend the red line through Rice Creek Commons to make it accessible to other parts of the metro area.

Development for this project could start as early as 2017 as the roads and Rice Creek restoration is expected to be completed by late fall 2016. This is a great time to be a part of the last major development in this area. We would love to help you be a part of Rice Creek Commons.

The Mall of Entertainment Brings Commercial Real Estate Opportunities to Albertville


Sony Entertainment is on the cusp of making their ten years of planning a reality. They have purchased 82 acres of land in Albertville, adjacent to the Albertville Premium Outlet Mall. The project is currently in the process of getting final approval from the city. If everything goes according to schedule, Sony will break ground in the late fall of this year. The 150,0000 square foot facility plus 275 room hotel is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017. The attraction will provide state of the art facilities, an indoor water park, a behind the scenes look of how movies are made, and themed attractions based on Sony Pictures films. It will have enough activities to occupy the whole family. With the nearly 80,000 cars that pass by the site every day, it will quickly become a great indoor destination.

This will have a tremendous effect on the community and commercial real estate in the area. Since the recession in 2008, commercial real estate in Albertville has been in the decline. The Mall of Entertainment will increase land and property values, jobs and traffic in the area. With more visitors comes a great opportunity for new retail, hospitality and restaurant businesses. Currently there is a limited number of restaurants in the area including both formal and casual dining.

Brian Beeman, of IAG Commercial Real Estate, is excited about the opportunity the new theme park will bring to the community. He has a client that owns an adjacent 1.22 acres and has seen a large increase of interest in that area.

Now is a great time to purchase land before property values increase. It is also a great time for development so business openings will coincide with the Mall of Entertainment opening and the increased traffic it will bring. 

Exciting changes for current TCF Bank Building Site


The downtown skyline will be seeing some changes as early as 2016. A new plan has been proposed to replace the current TCF Bank Building with a 50-story tower. The new building will include a full-service hotel, apartments, and office space. Franklin Street Properties has yet to finalize the development agreement, plans have been underway since 2014. Local company Ryan Construction is slated as the developer and builder for this project. They will be partnering with architectural firm Perkins+Will. 

The lower levels of the building are slated for use as a hotel, while the middle will be used for offices and the top floors for apartments. The plans include approximately 260,000 square feet of office space.