Editor’s note: “Just Sold” is a Finance & Commerce feature based on certificates of real estate value recently filed for commercial transactions and significant residential transactions in Twin Cities counties. Additional details in the transactions come from Plat Research, the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, company documents, online real estate listings, F&C archives, CoStar and other research. Some purchase prices and per-unit calculations have been rounded. Full prices are available on the CRVs posted here.
Excelsior-based developer Oppidan Investment Co. has paid $3 million for the buildings leased to Driskill’s Downtown Market and the neighboring Richard’s Liquors in the heart of downtown Hopkins.
An Oppidan entity named KTJ 311 LLC closed Dec. 14 on the purchase of the grocery store at 25 11th Ave. N. and liquor store at 22 10th Ave. N. The 24,000-square-foot grocery store, built in 1977, and the 2,819-square-foot liquor store, built in 1972, sit on about 1 acre of land a half-block north of Mainstreet, along the north edge of a city parking lot. The price works out to $111.86 per square foot.
The question now is what the company plans to do with the site, home to the only grocery store serving the core of the city.
If there are changes ahead, the developer and grocer aren’t talking about them.
“We do not have any immediate development plans, and if any redevelopment plans began to form, we will work closely with the city, and the Driskill family, as they have been a tremendous asset to downtown Hopkins and the larger Hopkins community,” Drew Johnson, vice president of development for Oppidan, said in an email statement.
Scott Driskill, owner of Driskill’s Downtown Market in Hopkins and another grocery in Duluth, said in a brief phone conversation that he had done a major remodeling two years ago and still has years on his lease.
The investor who bought the property in 2014 for $1.52 million and nearly doubled that figure in the current deal is sure something new is in the works.
“Hopkins is super hot,” said Robert Lunieski, owner of Lunieski & Associates in Bloomington. A professional appraiser and longtime investor, he owned the property in an entity named Brainers Minimus LLC. The Driskill’s property wasn’t formally on the market, he said, but he received such strong interest in it that he decided to sell.
“This is truly a light rail play,” he said of the sale, noting that the driving force behind a rash of new apartments and other development activity in the city is the Southwest Light Rail Transit corridor being built along Excelsior Boulevard, less than three blocks south of Driskill’s.
Oppidan does face some complications in any development project, Lunieski said.
Driskill invested more than $1 million in store improvements two years ago. He wasn’t interested in owning the real estate, but he has five years left on its current lease and two renewal options.
Oppidan also will have to work with the city, which owns the parking lot. Under a current agreement, the city will plow and maintain the lot only if there is a grocery store in the larger building at the site.
Jan Youngquist, community development coordinator for the city, said that Oppidan officials had a brief discussion about the property but didn’t raise the possibility of development. She said that there was no discussion of the parking lot agreement and that staff members had not researched it.
Oppidan has experience in senior and market-rate apartments, retail and office projects. It worked for years before luring Kowalski’s Market to Excelsior, where it redeveloped the former Mason Motors dealership into a grocery store that shares a parking lot with a building Oppidan built to house its headquarters, with street-level retail and restaurants.
Purchase price: $3 million with no down payment and new financing
Price per square foot: $111.86
Last sale: $1.52 million
Property ID: 24-117-22-31-0129/0130
Date of deed: 12-14-19
ECRV released: 12-20-19
Federated Insurance buys Mankato call center
Description: Two-story, 137,392-square-foot office, built in 1999 on 18 acres at 2000 Technology Drive in Mankato
Buyer: Federated Mutual Insurance Co., Owatonna
Seller: ALLTEL Communications LLC, an entity of Verizon Wireless, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Purchase price: $7.75 million cash
Price per square foot: $56.41
Transaction: Federated Insurance Co., a national insurance provider based in Owatonna, faced with the need to expand its Minnesota operations, has paid $7.75 million to buy a closed Verizon Wireless call center in Mankato, where about 600 workers lost or changed jobs in fall 2018.
Federated is on a fast track with the expansion. The company closed Dec. 5 on the acquisition of the 137,392-square-foot office building from Alltel Communications LLC an entity related to Verizon. Federated plans to begin staffing the building this month, creating about 200 jobs, with room for additional growth in the future.
The two-story building, built in 1999, is located on 18 acres at 2000 Technology Drive, in the eastern part of the city. It’s about 45 miles northwest of Owatonna and 80 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
Federated serves 48 states and the District of Columbia. It has about 2,400 employees, 1,400 of them in Owatonna.
Verizon announced early in 2018 that it would close six of its 18 call centers across the United States: Mankato; Huntsville, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Hilliard, Ohio; and North Charleston, South Carolina. The move eliminated about half of the 6,000 jobs at those centers, moved most of the remaining jobs to other centers and converted some jobs to employees working from home. Verizon has 188,000 jobs nationwide, according to its website. Andrew Lubinski and Justin Felix with the Minneapolis office of CBRE represented the seller. Michael Marinovich and Christopher Gliedman of CBRE represented the buyer.
The parties couldn’t be reached Monday.
Last sale: Sole owner; no previous sale
Property ID: R01-09-10-104-002/004?/009/010
Date of deed: 12-5-18
ECRV released: 12-6-18