“Buildings that don’t
innovate will have to
drop their asking rates;
we plan to grow ours.”
changed the look and feel of the interior.
With the co-working trend on the rise, ownership is striving to make its lobby
a welcome environment for collaborative, impromptu meetings. On the outside, it is also leveraging a unique feature: green space. Beyond the government building Downtown, Accenture Tower is the only property with green
space in the CBD.
“We’re exploring organizing events like Tunes at Noon, where musical
groups come out once a week and hold concerts on the lawn,” Traeger says.
“We’re toying with concepts like installing a putting green to draw more people
to our building during the daytime. We want to be community-minded.”
The early impact of CSDV-MN’s Accenture Tower upgrades is best under-
stood by putting the class A building’s performance into the context of the local
market. The Twin Cities are recovering, slowly and steadily. The fourth quarter
was the market’s third consecutive quarter of positive absorption— 23,000
square feet, according to CBRE. The Minneapolis CBD was the best perform-
ing market—and the class A sector led the charge. There’s no spec construc-
tion underway (though the Mozaic, a mixed-use project in Minneapolis’ Uptown
area, was delivered in January, adding 66,000 square feet of office).
Despite eight quarters of increasingly good market news, however, overall
leasing activity slowed in Q4. The reason: businesses are tentative about taking
on new space in fear of a double-dip, driven largely by the European debt crisis. The coming presidential election only adds fuel also breeding uncertainty
about the economy.
As of Q4, the vacancy rate for class A office space in the Minneapolis CBD
was 13.5%, according to CBRE. Accenture Tower’s vacancy rate has held
steady at roughly 20% for the past several years. But Traeger and Kelly are
expecting the new upgrades to drive occupancy above 90% over the next 18
months, outperforming the local market.
ACCENTURE... continued on page 85
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Photo courtesy of Marquette University
A QUARTERLY SUPPLEMENT FROM THE EDITOR’S OF REAL ESTATE FORUM
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 Better Buildings 81