Oppidan starts work on last building in multistate industrial project — and demand for the space isn't waivering

Excelsior-based Oppidan Investment Co. has started construction on the final building in its multistate industrial development, which is being done in partnership with Boston-based Rockpoint Group.

The final property is part of the Bunker Lake Business Park in Ramsey, Minnesota, which is one of the three sites in the industrial portfolio that Oppidan and Rockpoint are developing together. In all, the portfolio represents a total investment of over $157 million in Minnesota and North Carolina.

The Bunker Lake Business Park is adding three industrial buildings spanning more than 405,000 square feet to a 45-acre site in the north-metro city. That industrial space that is still in demand, even with lingering economic uncertainties, said Jay Moore, vice president of development with Oppidan.

Oppidan has a solid offer from an unnamed tenant to take the entire first building, which reaches 111,000 square feet. The developer is in conversation with another tenant to potentially take half of the second building, which is a 147,000-square-foot structure, Moore said.

Oppidan held a ground breaking for the third building, also at 147,000 square feet, last week, he said.

The buildings can hold a variety of tenants, ranging from high-technology and medical tenants to office and warehouse tenants, according to a news release.

"There's not a lot of product like (this) or competition north of the Mississippi River," Moore said. "And so we were really trying to attract users or businesses that are coming from the north (or) coming from that Anoka County region."

Still, after months of red-hot investment and development in the industrial market, things could start to cool off as interest rates rise, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Oppidan locked in its construction pricing months months ago for the Ramsey business park. The developer is slightly concerned where the interest rates could head as it works on planning future developments, Moore said.

"I still think that (there's) a very strong industrial market (in the) Minneapolis-St. Paul area and nationally," he said."But, if there is anything that could slow that down, it is ... that construction costs continue to escalate at a very rapid pace and (rising) interest (rates) and what's going on in the global economy."

"I haven't seen it yet," Moore said of lingering demand for industrial space.

The Bunker Lake Business Park is directly north of Minnesota Highway 10. Dayton is across the highway and the Mississippi River from the business park.

The development totals $42 million. Work will likely finish on the first two buildings this October and the final building will be completed late next year.

The Ramsey business parks is part of a multistate industrial project that's bringing a combined total of 1.55 million square feet in nine buildings to Minnesota and North Carolina.

Construction of the portfolio’s first site – in Chaska – began in October last year. Work on the $1 million development of the Apex Commerce Center in Apex, N.C. began in May, according to a news release.

JLL Capital Markets arranged the joint venture partnership between Oppidan and Rockpoint. CBRE is leasing the buildings, the release said.

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