Ackerberg buys 2 Remes buildings.


Byline: Matt M. Johnson

Minneapolis-based First & First has sold two renovated creative office buildings to another Minneapolis investor that has long wanted to buy pieces of the seller's portfolio.

The Ackerberg Group paid a total of about $11.6 million for buildings at 811 Glenwood Ave. and 1400 Van Buren St. NE, said First & First CEO Peter Remes. First & First purchased 811 Glenwood in 2012 and 1400 Van Buren in 2006, he said in a Thursday interview.

The $6.7 million Ackerberg paid for the 51,180-square-foot 811 Glenwood works out to $130.91 per square foot of space. The building, which is across the street from International Market Square, was 80 percent occupied at the time of the sale, Remes said. Hennepin County values the property at $6.6 million for tax purposes.

The $4.875 million purchase price for the 45,019-square-foot 1400 Van Buren building works out to $108.29 per square foot of space. The county values the building, which is fully occupied, at $2.25 million for tax purposes. The property is next to the Northrop King Building, which leases studio space to artists.

Both sales closed on June 4. Certificates of real estate value for the transactions were not available to the public as of Thursday afternoon. The overall Twin Cities office space vacancy rate is 18.3 percent, according to the Minneapolis office of CBRE.

First & First started marketing the two buildings along with 15 others in late 2016. The properties drew four serious offers, Remes said.

First & First typically buys older Twin Cities buildings in need of updating, then renovates them and fills them with tenants. The properties that just sold were blank canvases when the company purchased them, Remes said.

"Both of these buildings were completely empty when we acquired them," he said.

Remes said he was pleased with the selling price.

"They were nice deals for us," he said. "The timing was good."

Steve Buss, a managing director of capital markets with the Twin Cities office of JLL, represented First & First in the transactions.

Ackerberg, which has the majority of its holdings in Minneapolis and much of that in Uptown, has been broadening its investments across office, industrial, multifamily...

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