For Tim Murnane, there is hope. And that’s good news for anyone who works in the commercial real estate business.
I spoke with Murnane earlier this week for a story I’m working on for Minnesota Real Estate Journal. We spoke at length about the challenges that Minneapolis-based The Opus Group — Murnane serves as president and chief executive officer of Opus Holding, LLC — has gone through in the past few years.
The company, of course, is far from alone in suffering through the recession and its painful recovery. Commercial real estate has been hit hard by the economy, and more than a few firms are still trying to recover.
Murnane, though, is confident that Opus is on the way back. He pointed to several reasons: The company now has bonding capacity of more than $200 million, meaning that it can complete projects that it wouldn’t have been able to tackle a year-and-a-half ago. Opus also has projects on track. Late last year, the company purchased a tract of land near the University of Minnesota. It is now developing the Stadium Village Flats project here, a 120-unit apartment complex anchored by a first-floor CVS. Opus is also developing a 300,000-square-foot build-to-suit distribution center in Des Moines.
Of course, Opus, like most commercial real estate companies still has work to do. But Murnane, as he leads the new Opus through this still-challenging economy, says he’s sees plenty of reason for optimism, for Opus and for the entire industry.
“We are seeing signs of hope,” Murnane told me. “We’re especially seeing them in the manufacturing sector. Some of the companies are sitting on cash and are starting to make some moves.”
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