Twin Cities developer Peter Remes and his First & First L.L.C. purchased nine buildings in St. Paul’s Midway area and plans to invest millions of dollars in renovation, Finance & Commerce reports.
The 5.5-acre, 205,000-square-foot complex, located from 550 to 558 Vandalia St., used to be the home of heating and cooling company Palen Kimball before Marsden Holding purchased it in 2008. Thanks to its close proximity to an Interstate 94 exit and University Avenue West, where the $957 million Central Corridor light rail line is being built, Remes labeled the complex a “phenomenal location.”
Remes saw the opportunity after another developer defaulted on the mortgage and paid $3.33 million for the Vandalia Street buildings after securing financing from Stillwater-based Central Bank. The buildings were acquired from Roseville-based North Star Bank and Bloomington-based United Bankers’ Bank, which purchased the complex through foreclosure in 2011.
The developer is working on securing an architect and general contractor for a multimillion-dollar makeover of the neglected complex, which he plans to complete by 2013.
The buildings are currently mostly leased, with the publicly chartered High School for Recording Arts being the largest tenant, occupying around 30,000 square feet at 550 Vandalia St. Other tenants include Holzman Wood Designs and the Center for Mind-Body Oneness yoga studio. The average annual rent is $4.36 per square foot, a rate comparable with warehouses in that part of the metro area.
Remes compared the buildings to his efforts at the Van Buren Building, located at 1400 Van Buren St. N.E. Once a fabric window treatments plant, it is now a stylish home for small businesses.