Office W Minnesota

New office lease brings former Ford vertical assembly plant in Minneapolis to nearly full occupancy

A new office deal will leave the historic Ford Center office building in Minneapolis -- owned by United Properties -- nearly 90 percent occupied.

A new office deal will leave the Ford Center office building in Minneapolis nearly 90 percent occupied.

Olson, one of the top-10 independent, full-service agencies in North America and the largest in Minnesota, recently signed a lease to occupy about 125,000 square feet in the historic Ford Center office building.

The new Olson lease, together with the recent lease with HGA Architects and Engineers for approximately 83,000 square feet, boosts the Ford Center's occupancy rate to nearly 90 percent.

Creative agency Olson will move more than 300 employees into renovated space on the top five floors of the building at year-end 2011.

Chris Rohrer and Sheila Hanson of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Olson in the transaction. Jim Montez and Sonja Breyfogle, office leasing agents at NorthMarq, represented owner United Properties. Olson also has offices in Chicago and Toronto.

"Olson has been carefully seeking the right space for some time, and historic Ford Center is just the right fit as we continue to grow our agency of the future," said Kevin DiLorenzo, Olson chief executive officer. "We're excited to be a part of the neighborhood revitalization going on around Target Field, and now we'll be able to keep a closer eye on those Twins from our new rooftop deck."

The renovations, which began in late 2010, will preserve the design of the 1912 building, originally a vertical assembly plant and car showroom built for Ford Motor Company.

"We are very pleased to reach this level of pre-leasing and are excited that the renovated building will be open in fall 2011," said John Saunders with United Properties.

Saunders and Bill Katter are co-leading the project.

Owned by United Properties since August of 2007, the 269,000-square-foot office building rises 11 stories, and sits adjacent to Target Field and the future downtown light rail and Northstar commuter hub.