Paster buys 3 Highland Park retail buildings.


Byline: Matt M. Johnson

Paster Properties has paid $9.6 million for three retail buildings in St. Paul's Highland Park in part to gain a foothold ahead of the massive future redevelopment of the former Ford site nearby.

The buildings are near the intersection of Cleveland Avenue South and the Ford Parkway and surround the area's iconic Highland Theater. The largest of the buildings, at 2051 Ford Parkway, is a 21,500-square-foot strip center with tenants including Patina store and the Tiffany Sports Lounge. Paster paid $4.86 million for that building in a transaction that closed on Jan. 23, according to a certificate of real estate value recently made public.

The other buildings in the portfolio are an 8,297-square-foot strip retail center at 750-758 Cleveland Ave. S., and a 2,680-square-foot standalone restaurant building at 740 Cleveland that is home to Sakana Sushi. Certificates of real estate value were not available for those transactions. Paster President Howard Paster confirmed the total purchase price in a Monday interview. Tenants in the Cleveland Avenue building include TeaSource and Menchie's Frozen Yogurt.

The sellers were Minneapolis and Woodbury entities controlled by the Simon family, said Tom Simon, a managing partner for the family's commercial real estate holdings. The family has owned the properties for about 85 years, he said, but sold them as a "portfolio management decision."

The transaction works out to about $295.59 per square foot of space. Ramsey County values the properties at about $4.1 million for tax purposes.

The buildings were fully occupied at the time of the transaction. The retail vacancy rate in the Highland Park area is 15.3 percent, according to statistics from the Minneapolis office of CBRE.

The buyer and seller negotiated the transaction off market. The Simon and Paster families have had a connection since immigrating to the United States together, Simon said in an interview.

"We have probably a 120 year family relationship," he said.

Paster purchased the...

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