Posted by carlson on June 19, 2019 in Case Study

The Hydra-Flex story reads like an entrepreneur’s dream – start from scratch and create 10+ years of 25%+ annual growth!  While growth is fun, it’s also challenging, especially for a custom manufacturing company.  Enter the Carlson Partners team.  From the first 5,000 sf space in Burnsville, to the interim 30,000 sf space in Eagan, to 80,000 sf in Savage, Carlson is proud to have provided advisory services to Hydra-Flex every step of the way.  Our team understands the levers to use to negotiate savings and we helped create an opportunity for $800,000 in incentives for the latest move.  Thank you to Hydra-Flex for your continued support of the Carlson team!


Posted by carlson on June 19, 2019 in Case Study

Skyline Displays is a global leader in tradeshow exhibits, providing design, install, transportation and storage services to their clients.  Carlson partners has advised Skyline on over 15 locations throughout North America.  Operating for over 10 years as an extension of the executive team, Carlson Partners provides site selection, negotiations, renewals, relocation and related services, from Chicago to Las Vegas to Orlando.  To ensure that we drive occupancy costs as low as possible, we partner with similar representatives in each market.  These partner experts are Tenant-focused, without Landlord conflict, and provide the data and intelligence needed to accomplish our business objectives.


Posted by carlson on June 19, 2019 in Case Study

Amplifon, the global leader in hearing solutions, works to empower people to rediscover the emotions of sound.  As Amplifon grew, their former facility did not provide the location or image to attract and retain employees, who are the core of the Amplifon mission.   The Carlson Partners team was engaged to align the business strategy with real estate, to continue fueling the growth of the company.

Over the course of 30 months, our team analyzed the market to find a suitable location for the North American HQ.  Fifth Street Towers in the CBD was selected, and we negotiated to align the lease with the business needs.  We accomplished this through flexibility and a large Landlord funded improvement allowance.  Subsequently, we were tasked with another office requirement in Toronto, Canada.

Completed in fall 2018, the Amplifon HQ is a reflection of the company mission, and has been very positively received by employees.  We love to showcase the space as it reflects the Amplifon mission.


Posted by carlson on August 21, 2017 in Case Study

Carlson Commercial provided a strategic role in securing a new, long-term lease and successful build-out for booming Creative Apparel Concepts (CAC). CAC is a global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of “trend-right” garments for men, women and children. CAC moved into its larger, customized headquarters at 10100 89th Avenue North, Maple Grove, MN, this past spring.

Ted Carlson, President of Carlson Commercial, said CAC had some unique challenges that our company was uniquely qualified to meet, while staying within budget. Foremost, CAC was ready to consolidate its Minneapolis Warehouse District offices with its New Hope warehouse.

“We have deep knowledge of the Twin Cities commercial and industrial real estate market, so we did what we do best. We used a highly strategic approach to balance our client’s space and financial needs.” The firm secured a 117,242-square-foot space (18,000 sq. ft. office; the remainder is warehouse) that fulfilled all of CAC’s key objectives.

In 2016, CAC faced an expiring lease and dramatic growth — a 60 percent increase in employees in just one year. At the same time, it wanted to consolidate operations, design, manufacturing and shipping, with excellent access for logistics. But it was essential to maintain the highlycreative and collaborative atmosphere that contributed to CAC’s 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Upper Midwest.

Ben Gray, CEO of CAC, was pleased with Carlson’s approach and the final result. “They quickly understood our need to find a creative, flexible space and keep costs down, so that we could keep growing our business. Our new space is great for both our growth and employees.”

“CAC’s new Maple Grove location provides an open floor plan and designated collaboration spaces, which bring employees from all job functions together. It also reduced the expense and parking hassles of downtown Minneapolis,” Carlson added.

“We leveraged several space proposals and helped CAC maintain a dynamic, creative atmosphere with lower rent, room for growth and better logistics. It’s a win.”


Posted by carlson on June 5, 2017 in Case Study

Traci Capistrant and Jill Meyer – of Capistrant Law, P.A. –knew they needed new office space. Their Uptown Minneapolis location wasn’t right for their practice anymore, but determining the next move seemed daunting. They decided they needed help finding the right spot to both meet their current needs and allow for future growth.

Traci and Jill called Phil Kluesner and Mike Hartman of Carlson Commercial to help them determine not only when they should make their move, but what kind of building and location would best align with their brand. And as always, budget was a key factor in the process. Phil helped with big picture strategy issues, while Mike focused on day-to-day management of the process.

Within a couple of months, Phil and Mike helped Traci and Jill narrow down their options to an ideal location in Golden Valley— a landmark building, with highway access, and within their budget. Carlson anticipated a tricky path to closing the deal, and unfortunately, their fears were realized when a neighboring tenant suddenly expanded into the space.

As timing was now a major issue, due to the sale of Capistrant’s current building, the Carlson team quickly led them back into the market. They soon identified an available vacancy in Northeast Minneapolis that better aligned with the firm’s brand. It was a well-known building with easier access to downtown Minneapolis, which was a critical consideration for Capistrant.

The only drawback? Rent was over Capistrant’s budget. Phil and Mike creatively negotiated a “take it or leave it” offer with the landlord to phase Capistrant into the space over a seven-year term, paying below-market rates, yet occupying the whole space from the start of the term. Even better, Phil and Mike negotiated a tenant improvement budget to cover the entire build-out of the space.

“I can’t say enough good things about my experience with Carlson Commercial. Their team went above and beyond to help us find the right space while doing the due diligence to make sure it would be the best lease. Best yet, throughout the whole process Mike provided me with some of the best email/phone response time I’ve ever experienced in business. We are excited for this fun new chapter for our business as we move into the new space!” said Traci Capistrant.

The Carlson team confronted Capistrant’s challenges head-on, and overcame each of them through constant and honest communication, smart decision-making, and quick action. Capistrant moved into the space in early April 2017, and are thrilled with their new home!


Posted by carlson on May 25, 2017 in Case Study

Ximedica knows all about innovation and searching for the best solution to complicated challenges. As a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of FDA-regulated medical products, they know that exploring more than one option makes the most sense, and that a lot can be learned from the search for an answer.

Their Twin Cities operation faced an upcoming lease operation, which provided the opportunity to not just find a larger, flexible footprint, but also to establish its brand more strongly in the market. At the same time, they needed to stay within tight budget parameters from corporate.

Ximedica gave Carlson Commercial the kind of challenge we love. We took the time to do our research, doing a deep dive into Ximedica’s long-term growth plans. We also took a critical look at the locations they already knew they wanted to explore. Then we embarked on a comprehensive search, finding alternatives that fit their needs.

We presented three strategic lease proposals from the extensive options we reviewed. Working closely with Ximedia, Carlson Commercial made a thorough comparison of rent structures and indirect benefits – and challenges – of each property. With three options to compare, Ximedica was able to make a smart, informed decision about how its long-term space needs would be met.

Knowing what was needed and what the market could offer put Ximedica in a strong bargaining position. As a result, they are now leasing an additional 18,000 square feet in their desired location, along with a substantial tenant improvement allowance and lease flexibility to accommodate growth.


Posted by carlson on April 24, 2017 in Case Study

Fifteen years in one location can be a long time. Especially when your company is growing. NAMSA, a leader in providing expertise in consulting, laboratory testing services, and clinical research, had spent fifteen years focused on serving clients. And not on updating their space.

As years passed, the lack of amenities and parking became less of a minor inconvenience and more of an actual obstacle to productivity. Energy was not as high as it could have been. And attracting new talent was challenging.

NAMSA came to Carlson Commercial to help them find space that would meet not just their practical need for more space, but also their strategic need to attract and retain employees. “After many years in the same location we hired Carlson Commercial to review our space options and to help us secure an updated, long-term solution to our needs,” said Ann Quinlan-Smith, Division President, Clinical and Consulting.

We put together a strategic real estate plan and guiding the NAMSA team through usability items and the impact space has on employees, both current and prospective.

Carlson Commercial solicited five proposals from a list of more than 11 space options. Each proposal was presented to NAMSA with an analysis of benefits and challenges. By leveraging multiple proposals, we helped NAMSA beat the market and secure the space they wanted.

“I can’t say enough about the professionalism and partnership that we formed with Phil, Eddie and Carlson Commercial. Carlson put together a facilities team that managed the entire process and executed on key issues throughout. Everything went smoothly and we are grateful for the value Carlson Commercial brought to us in this once-in-a-generation move,” said Quinlan-Smith

Today, NAMSA is enjoying an open and collaborative environment with positive energy that inspires employees and attracts prospects, all situated within an office campus with great amenities and parking.


Posted by Christine Lund on February 17, 2016 in Case Study

Plato imageAfter meeting with Wingspan Life Resources’ executive team in-person, Ted Carlson and Mike Hartman of Carlson Commercial began their search for office buildings for sale in St Paul.

They presented Wingspan with a comprehensive and detailed list of available options. When Wingspan expressed great interest in a building on Plato Blvd, Ted and Mike acted quickly to get the skinny on the building, which included determining if there was interest from other perspective buyers. When Ted and Mike learned that there had already been an accepted offer (and signed non-binding LOI) from a different prospect, they advised Wingspan to put in a “blind” offer in the amount of the asking price, in order to leapfrog the other buyer. Within 24 hours of learning of the other accepted offer, Wingspan had placed their own offer which was promptly accepted by the seller. Due to Ted and Mike’s prudent negotiating, the accepted offer included roughly $3,000 in personal property that the Seller agreed to pass on to Wingspan.

A couple weeks later, with a signed Purchase Agreement in hand, Ted and Mike navigated Wingspan through the due diligence process. When a Phase I environmental test prompted further environmental testing, Team Carlson shrewdly advised Wingspan to press the Seller to agree to pay for any costs for future environmental tests which might be required post-closing. Seller agreed to this request, signed a corresponding Amendment to the PA, and the closing occurred in Early February 2016 without a hitch! Mike and Ted’s discipline, creativity, and foresight ensured that Wingspan’s purchase would be seamless, in spite of several obstacles along the way.

Visibility + Outside Storage = No Problem!

Posted by carlson on September 25, 2015 in Case Study, Tenant Rep

hd supply

HD Supply White Cap is the nation’s largest supplier of tools and specialty materials to professional concrete contractors.

HD ‘s business had grown and they wanted to expand their MN operations.  Their national representative recognized the value of the Carlson Commercial team and selected Eddie and Ted to help HD find the space solution.  HD faced a tight market and tactical requirements including: visibility, warehouse space and outside storage.  HD was able to capitalize on a property that had another deal fall through at the 11th hour that fit the operational requirements.  During the lease review process, the team ran a parallel path Conditional Use Permit process with the city of Mendota Heights to expand the outside storage. The 31,000 sf deal was a successful outcome for HD Supply, the landlord, and the City.

Rapid Growth + Strategic Challenges = Call CC!

Posted by carlson on July 21, 2015 in Case Study, Tenant Rep

pine-bend (3)

In Q1 2015 the overflow of materials at the Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery was a hindrance and liability: FHR needed to capitalize on business opportunities and maintain adequate safety stock.  More space was required, so FHR again turned to Eddie Rymer to source and secure additional space, all in a timely manner.

Leaning on the CC team, Eddie utilized our company’s knowledge of the market and our professional relationships led to a fast and cost effective solution.  In less than 120 days from project launch, FHR leased 88,000 sf.  The space allows for expansion and is located less than 1/4 mile from the Pine Bend refinery.