Services Provided:



Education, Non-profit


St. Paul, MN


58,000 SF


Eric Rapp

Project Summary


The Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists was leasing classroom and office space in two separate buildings in downtown St. Paul. Due to the growth of the school, they had expanded within the Lowry Building for five consecutive years.

In 2013, the school again needed to expand. While discussing expansion with their landlord, they discovered that the landlord was in the process of selling some of the building’s office and retail suites to the tenants who occupy them, creating a commercial condominium association.


Determine most cost-effective and stable way for the Conservatory to meet its space needs.


Colliers International pursued the option of purchasing the space from the landlord. The team at Colliers International worked to ensure that the Conservatory would reap the benefits of owning their space, and helped find an appropriate financing solution for them.


The Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists was able to purchase 58,000 square feet of space in the Lowry building, and financed this purchase through the sale of municipal bonds. Since they are a not-for-profit entity, they will no longer pay property tax on the space they now own.

While this deal is unique, especially with regard to the condominium situation, there is a trend for schools to purchase their space in lieu of continuing to rent for long periods of time. Many will choose to buy the space they currently occupy, while others will purchase space in another building.