University of Minnesota finds buyer for long-vacant building.


Byline: Brian Johnson

More than four years after first putting the building on the market, the University of Minnesota has a buyer lined up for the long-vacant former Minnesota Geological Survey Building on St. Paul's University Avenue.

University officials will ask the Board of Regents on Friday to accept a $1.8 million offer from local sole proprietor Peter Degan, who plans to use the brick building at 2642 University Ave. for offices, light assembly and storage, according to university documents.

Degan couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

Degan's offer is slightly less than the U of M's lowest appraisal of $1.85 million. The building has an estimated market value of $1.915 million, according to Ramsey County propertyrecords.

Pending approval from the Board of Regents, the transaction is expected to close in mid-July, said Leslie Krueger, the university's associate vice president of planning, space and real estate.

Krueger said the building is well-located next to a Green Line light rail transit station. Unfortunately, she said, it's on the "wrong side" of University Avenue. The other side of University Avenue is in an opportunity zone.

Created as part of the 2017 federal tax overhaul, opportunity zones offer tax breaks to investors in low-income and urban communities. Being in an opportunity zone would have made the property more attractive, Krueger said in an interview.

"But it is in a fantastic location from the standpoint of being next to the rail station," Krueger added. "We are excited that it's going to get reused and have an opportunity to bring more jobs to area residents."

Constructed in 1930 and most recently renovated in 1983, the 41,431-square-foot building has been vacant since January 2015. The U of M said it's the only remaining building owned by the university in St. Paul's Midway area.

Located in the southwest quadrant...

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