Ecolab to Grab 17-Story Tower in St. Paul, Minn.

Ecolab is expanding in St. Paul with the purchase of a sizable property close by.

The Travelers Cos. has agreed to sell the 17-story North Tower in downtown St. Paul, Minn., to Ecolab Inc., a leading company in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, Ecolab announced late Thursday. Financial terms of the deal, which is to close in the third quarter, were not disclosed.

The building, at 385 N. Washington St., has 484,500 square feet of office, data center and common area space, along with a parking ramp. Amenities include a large cafeteria, on-site daycare, under-the-building parking and access to the complex’s fitness center in the South Tower. The Class A building was completed in 1999.

After the sale of the North Building closes, Travelers employees will begin moving to the South Building (which Travelers will retain), though the company expects to occupy some floors in the North Building well into 2017, a spokesperson for the insurer told Commercial Property Executive. The St. Paul campus reportedly will remain the second-largest campus for Travelers worldwide.

Meanwhile, Ecolab will begin the process of relocating to the North Tower later this year. By the end of 2018, it will have relocated to the North Tower all of its St. Paul–based employees from three buildings that comprise its current world headquarters: the 19-story Ecolab Corporate Center, at 370 N. Wabasha St. (barely two blocks from the North Tower), and the 15-story Ecolab University Center and six-story Ecolab Global Communications Center, both also on Wabasha Street.

The shuffle apparently will boost Ecolab’s space slightly, as an Ecolab spokesperson told CPE that the company’s three current buildings in downtown St. Paul total more than 462,000 square feet.

“This move affirms our long-standing commitment to downtown St. Paul,” Ecolab chairman & CEO Douglas Baker said in a release. “We’re excited that we’re able to bring all of our downtown employees together in one location, which will become the new world headquarters for Ecolab.”

Ecolab’s presence in St. Paul dates to the company’s founding in 1923.

Minneapolis-based boutique commercial realty brokerage NTH (known till late last year as Nelson, Tietz and Hoye) represented Ecolab in the transaction.