United Properties’ Ford Center signs lease with HGA and begins renovations

United Properties’ Ford Center signs lease with HGA and begins renovations

1912 building receives approval for historic renovation designs

MINNEAPOLIS, MI – November 24, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — United Properties announces that the Ford Center* has signed a lease with HGA Architects and Engineers for 80,000 sq. ft. in its historic office building in the Minneapolis Warehouse District. To ready the Ford Center for 2011 renovations, United Properties also recently received historic renovation design approval from the National Park Service and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, and approval for a building addition from the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission.

With the new lease, HGA will move into renovated space on the first four floors in the summer of 2011. Russ Nelson and Anna Coskran of Nelson, Tietz and Hoye represented HGA in the transaction. HGA will serve as the project architect on the renovations and manage the process for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

“As HGA serves an expanding national and regional client base, the Ford Center’s generous floor plates support collaborative teamwork – and its proximity to light rail and public transit reinforces our firm’s commitment to urbanism and sustainability,” said Stephen Fiskum, chief operating officer, HGA.

The project is led by John Saunders and Bill Katter of United Properties and will begin in December 2010, subject to final permitting. The team also includes leasing agents Jim Montez and Sonja Breyfogle of NorthMarq, historic consultant Charlene Roise of Hess Roise, and general contractor RJM Construction.

United Properties has committed to a large scale redevelopment consistent with the historic nature of the building and the transformation of this area of Minneapolis:

  • The window line – the most distinguishing characteristic of Ford Center – will be restored with more energy efficient windows while preserving the original design.
  • The main level of the building will feature a hallway with 18 foot ceiling heights, and exposed columns that display the original building architecture.
  • All new mechanical systems, restrooms and elevators will be included in the renovation.
  • The HGA floors and all office floors will be built out with open ceiling heights of nearly 12 feet, incorporating a raised floor system with under floor delivery of conditioned air.
  • The Fifth Street entrance will be recreated to simulate the historic entrance to the building and will connect pedestrians and users to future-expanded Light Rail Transit, making the building one of the first transit-oriented office redevelopments in the City of Minneapolis.
  • The lower level of the building will include executive parking and a building-common fitness center, which will be located in the former train shed area of the building.

“This is one of our most unique locations and renovation projects – and a commitment to help redevelop the ballpark neighborhood,” said Frank Dutke, president, United Properties. “The process has been extensive, including local historic and national preservation approvals.”

Owned by United Properties since August 2007, the 265,000-sq.-ft. office building is adjacent to Target Field and the future downtown light rail and Northstar commuter hub. The 11-story building was built in 1912 as a vertical assembly plant and car showroom for Ford Motor Company.

*  during the renovation planning, the building has been renamed Ford Center (previously Ford Centre)

About United Properties
United Properties, based in Minneapolis, Minn., specializes in commercial real estate development and investment. Since 1975, United Properties has provided development services for the retail, residential, office, medical and industrial sectors. In addition to a large presence in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, United Properties’ Colorado division develops retail, office and flex office buildings. Formed in 1916, the United Properties investments group acquires, manages, finances and disposes of the company’s real estate investments, which includes nearly 60 office, medical, industrial and retail assets in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado. For more information, visit www.uproperties.com.
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