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.

Blanks USA – 96,000 sf HQ purchase

Posted by carlson on July 15, 2015 in Case Study, Manufacturing, Tenant Rep

Blanks USA

Blanks USA was founded over 30 years ago selling door hangers and raffle tickets. Since its inception, Blanks has evolved into an industry-leading supplier of security paper and die cut paper products. Blanks experienced healthy growth and that growth was projected to continue, which created a real estate issue. Blanks had reached capacity in their single tenant facility.

After meeting with the Blanks USA team and learning more about the company and the owners’ long-term goals, Tim Olsen developed a clear path to accomplish the real estate goals. Blanks USA wanted to leave their facility. Tim was tasked to locate a property that would allow Blanks to expand operations and allow for future growth.

In 2011, Tim found a property located a couple miles from Blanks’ existing location. Using his team’s in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and property owner, Tim negotiated a closing price $1,000,000 lower than the original asking price. The property had two current tenants and room for Blanks USA to occupy, which accomplished the original objective.

Like saving CASH? 10.4% net rent reduction + $1 million TI package

Posted by carlson on March 30, 2015 in Case Study, Tenant Rep


Established over 120 years ago, with sales reaching $10 billion, Core-Mark (NASDAQ: CORE) is a leading distributor and marketer of consumer packaged goods to the convenience retail industry. A California-based firm representing Core-Mark hired Carlson Commercial to lead negotiations for their Minneapolis location.

We conducted a thorough market survey, interviewed developers, analyzed move vs. renew, and ultimately decided that a long-term renewal was the best solution for Core-Mark.  Since Core-Mark acquired a previous business in 1999, the Minneapolis space had not been updated, and capital costs were increasing dramatically.

Our goals included reducing rent, shifting capital expenses to the Landlord, and securing TI funding for building renovations & modernization.  The end result? We reduced the rent by 10.4%, the Landlord assumed capital replacement costs, and the Landlord dedicated $1 million to remodeling the building.

For more detailed information on the strategy and techniques used to accomplish our objectives, please contact us at


More Space + Less Rent + Awesome Building = #WINNING!!!

Posted by carlson on March 12, 2015 in Case Study, Manufacturing, Tenant Rep

Etech (3)


In 2012, E-Tech engaged Tim Olsen to develop a strategic plan to help with their long-term real estate needs.  An extensive analysis revealed a short-term lease renewal was the optimal solution.

In 2014, 18 months prior to lease expiration, E-Tech hired Carlson Commercial to assist with a potential corporate expansion/relocation in response to significant business growth.  To accomplish E-Tech’s strategic objectives, Carlson engaged in site selection, market analysis, proposal comparisons and lease negotiations.

As a result of the Carlson-led process, E-Tech landed in a space-efficient, high-quality modern facility – all while reducing their lease rate by 18.1% PSF.  To stay within E-Tech’s budget, Tim negotiated a significant moving allowance and free rent to offset relocation costs.

For more detailed information, please visit or



AudaExplore – 21,400 sf HQ Relocation

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


By delivering global data, easy-to-use technology and deeper insights into the ownership lifecycle, AudaExplore is leading the automotive industry in making insurance carriers, repairers, dealerships and fleet owners more competitive and profitable.  Headquartered in Eagan, MN, and operating as part of the Solera (NYSE: SLH) group of worldwide companies, AudaExplore has grown rapidly.  Carlson Commercial was tasked with identifying real estate solutions to accomplish the following:

1) Construct the lease to maximize EBITDA benefits

2) Create space to attract and retain talent

3) Negotiate leased space flexibility

Our team toured provided an in-depth list of Twin Cities market options, including: lease, purchase, and consolidation with other Solera owned businesses.  We expanded the scope of services and analyzed other metro areas, to compare the Twin Cities market against leading technology cities.  Ultimately, AudaExplore decided to expand in Eagan, MN and designed space that reflects the AudaExplore brand and its connection to the automotive and insurance industries.  We expanded the footprint and built out cutting edge space, yet reduced the PSF lease rate; while negotiating multiple lease clauses to maintain flexibility.

The AudaExplore/Carlson relationship started in 2007, and has expanded to include other Twin City and North American locations, including Portland, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Dallas.

For more information, please visit or


Skyline Displays – North American Real Estate Services

Posted by carlson on February 24, 2015 in Case Study, Manufacturing, Tenant Rep


Founded in 1980, Skyline Displays was created to help companies exhibit easier, better and more efficiently.  With over 80 dealers in North America and over 100 patents on record, Skyline is considered the premier exhibits company.

Headquartered in Eagan, MN, Skyline has worked with Carlson Commercial since 2009.   Our team secured new distribution facilities in Chicago and Las Vegas, renewed distribution centers in Orlando and Toronto, and opened new dealer locations in several locations including Salt Lake City and Phoenix.  In Orlando, we negotiated a 10.47% savings on rent and $217,000 in Landlord funded Tenant Improvements.

Carlson Commercial has a strict policy of hiring local market experts to provide accurate intel on market conditions and Landlord expectations.  These valued experts enable our Carlson team to provide the same expertise we have in the Twin Cities on a North American scale, while we ensure that the corporate real estate strategy is properly executed.  Our familiarity with the client, consistency in analysis’ and data presentations, and trust with decision-makers are critical to successfully implementing our real estate plans.

For more information, please visit or

596,000 sf – HQ Renewal & Expansion – $2.1 million savings

Posted by carlson on January 15, 2015 in Case Study, E-Commerce, Tenant Rep

TSG WarehouseIn mid-2011, Carlson Commercial was retained by a prominent Twin Cities e-commerce company to assist with a renewal/restructure of their HQ/distribution center lease (423,000 sf) and expand a nearby distribution center (173,000 sf).  Our client had grown significantly during the 20+ years of occupancy in the HQ building.  The HQ lease required the Tenant to spend significant money on building maintenance items that were typically Landlord costs.  In 2003, expansion necessitated a second distribution center (West). Carlson Commercial was tasked with qualifying and reducing the Tenant cap ex. costs, reducing the rental rate, and expanding the West distribution center.  Our challenge was to hit the savings goals while negotiating with two different Landlords and two different lease expiration dates.  Our objective was compounded by a company sale that occurred at the height of our negotiations.

Carlson Commercial worked with the executive team to navigate both company Buyer and Seller expectations.  In 2013, we achieved a $2.1 million aggregate reduction in occupancy cost over 60 months. We matched the lease expiration date for each facility to create future real estate flexibility.

For more detailed information on the strategy and techniques used to accomplish our objectives, please contact us at


Lease Restructure – $921,000 annual EBITDA savings

Posted by carlson on January 7, 2015 in Case Study, Tenant Rep

windsor plaza

A longtime med tech client implemented a new Board of Directors who challenged us to save $500,000 annually in real estate related costs.  Obstacles included: paying for 27,000 sf of excess space, 5 years of term on the remaining lease and higher-than-budgeted operating expenses.  A confidential strategy created by Carlson Commercial and executed by the client over a 12+ month period allowed us to accomplish our savings goals.  The client extended the lease for an additional 5 years and made a significant restructure payment.  We reduced the space leased by 1/3, reduced the net rental rate on the 5 year extension and avoided Tenant Improvement costs.  Total savings generated over the remaining 56 months of existing term was $4.3 million (net of the restructure payment), or $921,428 annually.  At a 10x +/- multiple, the lease restructure had a major impact on company valuation.

HQ Relocation – Logic Info

Posted by carlson on December 18, 2014 in Case Study, Tenant Rep

northland plaza
Northland Plaza

LOGIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS, A GLOBAL LEADER IN DELIVERING ORACLE RETAIL SOLUTIONS – 11,251 square feet new corporate headquarters in the Twin Cities.

Logic interviewed real estate providers to assist with the strategy, search, negotiation, and vendor management for a new corporate headquarters that would reflect their global image. Logic selected Carlson Commercial.  Logic needed to create a space that reflected their growing brand and rewarded the employees responsible for that growth.

Our strategy to attract and retain top talent was to secure a centrally located office for employees, maintain proximity to MSP Airport, and build a collaborative & fun employee focused office space.  Together we selected RSP Architects to design the space & manage the build out and Bauer Design Build as the general contractor.  A business acquisition during the process increased square footage from 7,500 sf to 11,251 sf.

Carlson Commercial adapted to the 57% increase in SF and set new expectations for both timing and costs, without discarding the previous ground work.  Using superior market knowledge and leveraging relationships, Carlson Commercial increased the PSF tenant improvement allowance by 20% yet maintained net lease rates & flexibility with two termination clauses.