Gladstone Commercial needed a tenant to occupy its three-story, 74,160 sq. ft. building in Fridley, Minnesota that had been leased but unoccupied for more than two years. Being unfamiliar with the market and located over a thousand miles away, Karen Priesman, senior asset manager at Gladstone Commercial, reached out to Julie Kimble, founder and CEO of KimbleCo. Kimble drove by the building the next day and provided immediate and valuable feedback to Priesman.
Kimble, a MNCREW member, and Priesman, a member of CREW Washington DC, met while serving on the CREW Network Foundation board of directors and have known each other for over two decades.
After interviewing several brokerage teams, Gladstone hired KimbleCo as the listing broker for 6499 University Corporate Center. The building had been marketed for lease and sublease primarily for a single-tenant user following its historical use. However, Kimble, along with her colleagues and fellow MNCREW members Ericka Miller and Kate Damato, saw more.
After receiving the listing, Kimble challenged the notion that the building only worked as a single-tenant building. It was also in a non-traditional office market corridor, so the odds of locating a 74,000 sq. ft, tenant for the property were low.
“It was much more likely to be leased up by companies that needed smaller tenant spaces,” Kimble said.
Prior to KimbleCo’s involvement, consultants had said that the atrium nature of the building would make it difficult to multi-tenant, and that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), but Kimble and her team looked at it from a different angle. They searched for the old building plans and spoke with HVAC contractors familiar with the building, who explained that multi-tenancy was a possibility. This good news gave the team more traction and they hired the original architects to do a code study for compliance. After putting these essential pieces together, they revamped the marketing.
“Within 12 months, we had it 60% leased,” Kimble said.
MNCREW member Meghan Huber of Welsh Construction did the initial base-building tenant improvement construction for the landlord and completed the first main tenant buildout.
“Sometimes, if you do that additional work you can get better results,” Kimble said.
The successful lease-up of the building has led to multiple opportunities with the client, Gladstone Commercial, on another building and project management work.
“Not only did they do a great job on the first listing, they impressed everyone at Gladstone so much, I was able to give them a second listing—we continue to work together,” Priesman said.
Additional CREW members involved in this project:
Ann-Makir Magloire is a Brokerage Coordinator with Cushman & Wakefield’s South Florida Multifamily Team. She also chairs Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network (WIN) in South Florida. WIN’s mission is to develop and support the talents of women team members by providing a platform that values diverse perspectives and leverages leadership skills to benefit the firm, clients and the industry. Magloire is also CREW Fort Lauderdale/Boca Raton member and serves on the 2020 CREW Network Communications and Editorial Committee.
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