Detroit firm buys Riverplace office complex in Minneapolis

Margarito Gregerson

The Riverplace office complex near St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis has been sold and will undergo extensive renovations next year, according to the new owners.

Terms were not disclosed.

The purchase includes four buildings that sit on four acres right on the Mississippi River and across from downtown Minneapolis

The transaction was completed Dec. 22 by private equity firm Crestlight Capital of Detroit and its partner, the investment firm Harbert U.S. Real Estate Fund VII of Birmingham, Ala.

The deal, which does not include neighboring residential towers, encompasses the East Bridge office building at 10 NE. 2nd Street and the three office buildings on Main Street that sit just south of Hennepin Avenue. Those include 1 SE. Main Street; the Brown Ryan Building at 25 SE. Main Street and the glass roofed Expo Hall at 43 SE. Main Street.

A skyway connects the East Bridge Building with the Main Street structures.

Minneapolis-based Perkins+Will has been hired to redesign the Riverplace’s common office areas, lobbies, corridors, restrooms and outdoor spaces of the complex.

Transwestern’s Minneapolis team is handling the leasing and the marketing of the campus, which includes a glass roofed exposition hall, hundreds of parking stalls, and office spaces ranging from two to five stories, depending on the building.

The new owners have pledged “comprehensive” and “modern” renovations to the 250,000 square-foot, brick offices built in 1984 while also committing to preserving the historical integrity of Main Street. Renovation costs are expected to run in the millions of dollars. “We are going to redo the whole complex. And it’s going to get a new name,” said Transwestern Principal Reed Christianson. “We have been working on plans for a year.”

Adam Lawler, vice president of Crestlight Capital, said the project is well worth the effort.

“Riverplace is one of the most well-located and amenitized office campuses in town, but it is currently a bit stale. We look forward to bringing a more energized feel to it and re-connecting it to the neighborhood,” Lawler said.

The Riverplace purchase marks Crestlight’s second property buy in the Twin Cities. Last year it paid nearly $47.4 million to acquire the 250,000 square foot One MarketPointe office building in Bloomington, and called the entire Minneapolis region “one of the jewels of the Midwestern U.S.”

“We invest a great deal of time and energy before we commit to a transaction in a particular city, and through that diligence, we firmly believe in the long-term viability of the Minneapolis market,” said Crestlight Principal Brian McAlpine. “We plan to align with local partners to ensure we are creating an environment that meets the needs of the modern and evolving Minneapolis workforce.”

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

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