GET TO KNOW OUR TEAM: Jeff LaFavre

We at IAG Commercial Real Estate are a team. We work closely together and support one another in order to provide a comprehensive solution for our clients. We thought you might to know our team a little better.  After all, we are not JUST about work!

 Jeff is a former D1 middle distance runner, which has helped him go the extra mile for our clients. As he describes himself to his children, “I was a poor middle distance DI runner!” These days Jeff enjoys a round of golf with clients, made better with a frozen Snickers around hole #12. He also enjoys being a sports spectator of many sports but especially the Vikings and the MN Gophers basketball team.  Jeff enjoys gaining new clients and tackling complex real estate challenges. He enjoys new relationships and helping people excel in their careers. He especially enjoys  commercial real estate because it involves creatively solving tangible problems for clients.  Throughout the majority of Jeff’s 28 year career, his focus has been working with end-users typically based  in the Midwest.  He has worked  on every continent for these clients to help them find 500-1,000,000 sq. ft. of space. This includes industrial, office, land and some retail space, for our medical and financial related customers. 

On behalf of his clients, he has closed several hundred transactions through the years. For Jeff, the best part is the feeling you receive when a client says “thank you, I could not have solved it without your help!"   He enjoys the feeling of sincerely helping our clients do something that would have been difficult for them to achieve on their own.

Besides sports, he enjoys spending time with his wonderful family, serving on professional association and non-profit  and community boards and being involved with his local church.  He and his wife, Maxine, have two children. Their favorite vacation spot is Hawaii, but they enjoy traveling the world. (Jeff does anyway.  For Max, a beach and sunshine is all she needs!)  Jeff’s vises are ice cubes and graham crackers and if he could be a super hero he would be Flash Gordon. As a former runner he wishes he could move that fast!

Favorite Commercial Real Estate Success Story:

There are many that I have enjoyed along the way.  One of my favorites is representing Ecolab in purchasing the former, approximately 500,000 sq. ft. Cray Research H.Q. in Eagan, MN and then representing Travelers, a number of years later, in selling their 485,000 sq. ft. high-rise St. Paul office building to Ecolab for a new H.Q..  It was a small world kind of thing, separated by at least eleven years.

Update: Operation Christmas Child

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Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful non-profit bringing joy to children around the world. They partner with local organizations, families, and businesses to provide children with a “shoe-box" of gifts and hygiene items. Each year we help them to secure space for their seasonal distribution center. Thanks to one of our many great industry partners, we were able to able to secure them space in a plant in Lakeville for this holiday season. We hope they have another great season collecting and shipping out these boxes! If you would like to put together a shoe box with your family or business please see the link below.

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoe-box/

What Does an Amazon HQ2 Mean to MSP?

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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.

 

North Metro Connection = Opportunity for business

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The long anticipated 610 connection was completed last fall. It connects Interstate 94 to Interstate 35W via Hwy 610/10. This connector provides greater access and convenience across the north metro. It has resulted in a great opportunity for commercial real estate development. At almost every exit there are new commercial developments. Many warehouses, charter schools, shopping developments, distribution centers, and Target North Campus have been built along this Highway. There is still a lot of undeveloped land available along 610 in both Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park. It may even be part of the site that Maple Grove submitted for Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. With access points at HWY 252, HWY 169, HWY 10, and I-94 it is a great place for greater access to the region. It will also be connected at West Broadway and 610 to downtown with the Blue Line extension.

Operation Christmas Warehouse: Do you have a space to house Christmas Cheer?

Operation Christmas Warehouse:  Do you have a space to house Christmas Cheer?

Making Christmas Merry from Warehouse Space to supporting those who distribute Christmas Cheer. (Author's brother handing out shoeboxes at their kids club in Mexico City.)

Growing Pains on 35W

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An already congested segment of 35W between 43rd Street and Downtown is undergoing some major improvements and reconstruction. The project is expected to take four years with improvements on 35W from 494 to downtown expected to cost $239 million. The first major change took place last week with the Franklin Avenue bridge detour. However the long term business and public transportation impacts on South Minneapolis, particularly Lake Street will be great. The new entrance and exit ramps on Lake Street will provide much needed freeway access to revitalize business in that area. There are also some major infrastructure improvements planned with 4 bridges being repaired, 11 bridges being replaced, and the entire stretch being re-paved. We look forward to seeing how this can improve the lives of business owners, residents and commuters.

Update: Executives Night Out

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Jeff took advantage of the great fall weather by camping this weekend. No, not in the Boundary Waters, but in Downtown Minneapolis. Over $100,000 was raised for YouthLink to provide support services for homeless and at risk youth. Thank you to those of you who helped sponsor this great camp out.