MNCAR Platinum Sponsor Highlight - CSM


CSM has several major developments in the works


Minneapolis-based CSM Corp. has been making headlines recently with the announcement that it’s pulling the trigger on two speculative industrial projects in Rogers and Brooklyn Park. This may be proof that activity in the Twin Cities industrial market, particularly in the Northwest submarket, is on the upswing

The company also continues drawing attention for its evolving, high-profile plans for the redevelopment of the massive Lockheed Martin site in Eagan.
CSM develops, owns and manages commercial, residential and hotel real estate. It boasts a 10-million-square-foot commercial real estate portfolio (composed of office, industrial and retail properties), 37 hotels with more than 5,400 rooms and more than 3,000 apartments in nearly 20 complexes.
“It’s really an exciting place to be right now,” says Scott Moe, CSM’s vice president of leasing and development. He oversees the company’s commercial real estate portfolio and is helping evaluate the viability of both speculative office and industrial development. He’s also pursuing build-to-suit developments.
We’re extremely well-funded and have a lot of money… kind of burning a hole in our pockets,” he adds. “We’d like to get some money on the street -- doing it the smart way by making good real estate decisions.”
CSM President and CEO Gary Holmes has been making good real estate decisions for decades. An entrepreneur at a very young age, Holmes acquired his first real estate asset – a set of Minneapolis duplexes – when he was just 14 years old.
In 1976, Holmes’ first company – called Colonial Apartments -- became Colonial Services Management, which later became CSM. Holmes successfully grew the company by acquiring, developing and renovating commercial and residential properties across the country.
In 1992, CSM entered the hotel business by acquiring and renovating a former Howard Johnson’s into a Country Inn by Carlson. Since then, CSM Lodging has acquired, developed and managed hotels for some of the nation’s most prestigious brands.
Some of CSM’s most noteworthy projects include the redevelopment of the Milwaukee Road Depot in downtown Minneapolis into The Depot hotel complex, the development of the Lexington Preserve Business Park in Blaine and the renovation of the Bonaventure Shopping Center in Minnetonka.
Spec development is on the way
Moe was hired in January to head up CSM’scommercial development and leasing.
“My job and my group’s job is to first get our existing portfolio in good shape,” Moe says. “We just came through one of the worst economies in history. CSM wasn’t immune to any of that. I inherited a vacancy level that’s not acceptable to us and my task is to get that down, and we’re going a good job of that. And second, we will expand the portfolio.”
The company plans to break ground this summer on a 270,000-square-foot bulk/warehouse facility in Rogers and a 202,000-square-foot office/warehouse facility in Brooklyn Park.
Moe says Rogers is a highly sought-after, yet tight market. The project will be developed at the northwest quadrant of South Diamond Lake Road and Brockton Lane North.
“The supply is next to nothing in Rogers and nobody can go speculative right now and compete with us head to head,” Moe says. CSM has owned the 17-acre property since 2007 and has had city approvals since then.
 “So we looked and we saw this window of opportunity and said, ‘Wow! Minimal existing product and nobody else can go spec up their right now.’ We can go spec up there tomorrow, because we’re going to put a shovel in the ground by the end of the month or the first week of July at the latest. When does that ever happen that you get to go speculative with little to no competition? And by next summer there will be a lot of competition teed up and ready to go.”
The project is listed with Mark Sims and the Cassidy Turley team.
In Brooklyn Park, CSM’s new facility will be developed in the northeast quadrant of 93rd Avenue North and Broadway, just south of Highway 610. 
“It’s going to have a lot more lipstick on the outside with higher finish and longer glass lines,” Moe says. “We’ll probably put a higher-office finish type company in there.”
The project is listed with Dan Swartz and the CBRE team. CSM is seeking final city approvals and plans to break ground in August.
In addition to spec projects, CSM is pursuing build-to-suit developments.  “We’ve got some build-to-suit activity on our plate,” Moe says. “There’s no question that build-to-suit activity in the Twin Cities market is definitely increasing. We’re on the semi-short list on one at the Waters Business Center in Eagan, and we’ve got another one we’re chasing up in Brooklyn Park.”
Lockheed Martin redevelopment plans are moving along
CSM’s redevelopment plans for the Lockheed Martin site call for a 450,000-square-foot, mixed-use project called Central Park Commons, which would include retail and office space. CSM has teamed up with retail developer John Johannson to seek final approvals and begin work on the site. Johannson is a senior vice president at Colliers International | Minneapolis-St. Paul
We enlisted John as a consultant to spearhead that project,” Moe says.  “It’s in the semi-infancy stage where they’re still getting city approvals and going through government regulations. We’re certainly entertaining a lot of people as lead tenants and have letters of intent in process.”

Posted at: 3:32 pm on June 30th, 2014

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