River Park Plaza is an excellent asset that is well-positioned for success, we’re looking forward to watching this building continue to improve and attract key tenants.

Meir Cohen, Chairman and CEO,
Cohen Equities

Services Provided:

Architecture, Brokerage, Construction, Facility Services, Project Management

Industries:

Office

Location

St. Paul, MN

Size

300,000 SF

Project Summary

Challenge
In a serious state of disrepair, River Park Plaza, a Class B Receivership property in St. Paul, was 50% occupied and at risk of losing their anchor tenant, Comcast. Under recommendation that the property be sold, Colliers International MSP was tasked with renegotiating the anchor tenant lease and reintroducing the building to the market under new ownership. Colliers began working to find a new buyer committed to revitalizing an investment that had the potential to create a substantial impact.

Strategy
Working with Colliers Investment Sales Group, Cohen Equities, a national real estate investment company, jumped at the opportunity to invest in the 19.16-acre site. Together with Colliers Property Management, Office Leasing and Project Management teams, work began on a substantial renovation that included a lobby redesign, additional conference rooms, an expanded fitness center, new elevators, café remodel, a reconfigured exterior plaza entrance and landscaping.
 
Welsh Construction, Architecture and Facility Services, Colliers local affiliate partners, were also heavily involved in building upgrades and tenant improvements to occupied spaces. The Welsh and Colliers partnership was able to provide a range of services all under one umbrella in order to serve client objectives effectively and efficiently.

Results
With the property repositioned to include modern amenities attractive to today’s tenants, the Colliers leasing team was able to resign and extend Comcast’s 165,000 square foot lease. In addition, Colliers diligently marketed the property and brought in several new tenant leases including long-standing newspaper St. Paul Pioneer Press, Mahoney Ulbrich, Christiansen and Russ, P.A., and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
With building upgrades complete and tenant spaces renovated to fit the needs of a modern workplace, The Colliers Investment team worked again to market the property to a new owner. After owning the property for just over a year, Cohen Equities sold River Park Plaza in September of 2016 for more than twice the amount they paid for it in the summer of 2015. The 343,658-square-foot office building sold for $42.6 million to Madison-based SARA Investment Real Estate. At the time of sale, River Park Plaza was 89 percent leased, up over 50 percent from its previous vacancy rate of 30 percent.
 
Serving on behalf of new ownership, the Colliers Leasing and Property Management staff along with Welsh Facility Services are still working to maintain the collaborative efforts that turned River Park Plaza into the high performing office building that is now a landmark property for the City of St. Paul and the businesses that call it home.