Liberty Pays $36M for 6 Assets; Sage’s $110M Faribault Plant Heads for Home Stretch

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor Liberty Property Trust recently wrapped a $36 million investment that further expands its office and industrial holdings in the Twin Cities market. On Sept. 30, the Malvern, Penn.-based REIT paid $11 million for three office buildings in the Minnetonka Corporate [...]

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor

Liberty Property Trust recently wrapped a $36 million investment that further expands its office and industrial holdings in the Twin Cities market. On Sept. 30, the Malvern, Penn.-based REIT paid $11 million for three office buildings in the Minnetonka Corporate Campus, including 12800 Whitewater Drive (pictured).

In a statement, Liberty senior vice president & city manager Dan Jellison called the acquisition “part of our strategy to purchase under-leased properties and bring our leasing expertise to bear.” The three buildings, with a total area of 231,000 square feet, are located in the Twin Cities’ Southwest submarket, where Liberty has significant holdings.

In two other transactions totaling $25 million, Liberty acquired three industrial buildings  totaling 450,239 square feet:

  • Rogers Distribution Center, a 147,160-square-foot, three-year-old multi-tenant facility in Rogers that is 41 percent occupied
  • 9000 109th Ave. N. in Champlin, a 221,750-square-foot facility built in 1995 and renovated in 2005
  • Cedar Bluffs Business Center I in Eagan, an 81,329-square-foot facility built in 2005 and 76 percent occupied

Liberty acquired the Rogers facility from Artis Real Estate Investment Trust, and bought the Champlin and Eagan properties from KBS Realty Advisors, the Finance & Commerce business newspaper reported. All told, Liberty’s holdings in Minnesota encompass 4.2 million square feet of office, industrial and flex space.

In other news, Sage Electrochromics Inc., a maker of energy-efficient windows, will soon be able to start installing equipment in its new $110 million manufacturing plant in Faribault. By the end of this year, the company will also be able to move into 10,000 square feet of office space.

Located next door to its present 60,000-square-foot facility, the 324,000-square-foot plant is about 70 percent complete. According to the StarTribune, last year Sage received $72 million in federal loan guarantees for the project.  Sage is also receiving $31 million in federal Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits. Once complete, the building is in line to earn LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

 Photograph of 12800 Whitewater Dr office courtesy of Liberty Property Trust