CB Richard Ellis Lists Marquette Plaza for Sale–Again

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. recently offered for sale the Marquette Plaza office building in downtown Minneapolis, long revered as one of the city’s architectural landmarks. The listing did not name an offering price, but the [...]

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. recently offered for sale the Marquette Plaza office building in downtown Minneapolis, long revered as one of the city’s architectural landmarks. The listing did not name an offering price, but the assessed value of the building is $44 million, according to Hennepin County property tax records. Marquette Plaza is currently owned by FRM Associates L.L.C.

The 522,636-square-foot office property, which has an occupation rate of 85 percent, suffered a multiyear renovation process that ended in 2002, costing more than $60 million. The site includes a public plaza, a relatively rare feature in downtown Minneapolis. Another characteristic that makes the office building designed by famed architect Gunnar Birkerts unique is that in May 2011 it became the first downtown Minneapolis building to earn LEED Platinum certification.

The property’s largest tenant is Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy, which leases more than a quarter of the building’s surface–146,692 square feet. Five federal agencies lease 97,267 square feet in the building, or 18.6 percent of the space. Another notable tenant is the Foley & Mansfield law firm, which leases 65,177 square feet.

This is the second time Marquette Plaza has been listed for sale. FRM last sought a deal in 2008, but it didn’t sell during that difficult period for investment. FRM bought the property in 1997 for just $500,000, a relatively low price because the site required significant infrastructure improvements.

The Minneapolis office market could see improvement, as the city recently recorded a series of other local investment sales listings, including Brookfield Properties placing the 33 South Sixth building—a 50-story building in downtown Minneapolis—on the auction block. This property and its connected City Center retail mall constitute the largest property currently up for sale in Minneapolis.

In addition, Winnipeg-based Artis Real Estate Investment Trust recently announced that it paid $25 million for the 605 Waterford Park office building in Plymouth. Another big office transaction was recorded in January, when the 601 Tower at Carlson Center in Minnetonka found a buyer.