In Minneapolis/St. Paul and across the country, we’ve seen the real estate market bounce back. Locally, there has been growth, particularly in the multifamily sector, with apartments standing out as the frontrunner in terms of new developments. In addition to new developments, sales of existing office buildings has increased in the Minneapolis and St. Paul central downtown business districts, with several iconic properties changing hands in 2013.
Franchise transactions have driven a strong amount of business in 2013, as both multi-site and multi-state properties are acquired by new management or are refinanced. Many of these transactions have been handled by our office , giving us vast experience with the nuances of franchise transactions.
The most exciting growth throughout 2013 has been in the wind and solar energy sector. We had three large projects close in 2013, all of which began in 2009 and 2010. This experience prepares us well for 2014, as we expect the renewable energy sector to see increased financial backing as more of these wind and solar facilities are planned.
Looking ahead to the coming year, we expect to continue down the same path, along with increased industrial transactions, which seem to be the next hot topic here in Minneapolis. Apartments and student housing are expected to continue their upward trajectory, and retail will continue a strong comeback. Both local and national residential builder activity in the area has been strong, and this year should continue to bring land deals to the closing table.
With so much activity within the past year and great prospects for next, we’ve added five staff members to our local team in 2013. As we experience this growth and bring new talent into our office, we are firmly committed to finding professionals who have the depth of underwriting experience and industry expertise needed to close transactions efficiently, and the responsiveness and flexibility to match our existing Minneapolis team. Ensuring we continue to offer the same level of knowledge and customer service our clients have come to expect from us is critical as we grow and the market continues its recovery in 2014 and beyond.