Recap | The Talk of the Town

August 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm



Development Opportunities across the Twin Cities
By Nancy Burke, Gray Plant Mooty

NAIOP’s The Talk of the Town breakfast event in July told the tale of three cities with differing development priorities.  The mayors of Osseo, Shakopee and Inver Grove Heights identified development objectives growing out of each community’s unique challenges and assets. The panel of mayors was moderated by Ann Marie Woessner-Collins, managing director of Business and Economic Incentives at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Read more from each mayor as it relates to commercial real estate development:



Mayor of Osseo – Duane Poppe
When he isn’t busy with his mayoral duties, Duane is a vice president at Transwestern specializing in industrial sales and leasing. Per the Mayor, development in Osseo is strictly about redevelopment. The limiting factor Osseo faces is its size – which is akin to a postage stamp in real estate terms—or one square mile.

  • Poppe was quick to acknowledge that luring an Amazon warehouse to Osseo would displace much of the city and was out of the question. Instead, building density in the city’s core and creating a walkable downtown with a main street are Osseo’s key objectives.
  • Despite its small size, Osseo benefitted from eight development deals last year.
  • The City uses tax increment financing (TIF) and avoids tax abatement.
  • Poppe is proud of the capital improvement plan Osseo has instituted during his term as mayor, and the City’s improved Standard & Poor’s rating.


Mayor of Inver Grove Heights – George Tourville
Mayor Tourville is also a volunteer firefighter and a senior regional sales representative at SEH. Inver Grove Heights is bursting with development activity, and the mayor said it issued approximately 3,000 building permits in 2014.

  • The latest from a few hometown companies: Global agribusiness company CHS Inc., is planning to expand its headquarters and Flint Hills has an administration building underway.
  • With over 27 square miles, the city has land available and interest in residential, retail, office and industrial commercial growth.  The elimination of 6 stoplights on Highway 52 and future interchange at Highways 55 and 494 have improved and will improve travel to and from the city.
  • The City uses TIF primarily when it produces a net-job increase, like conversion or expansion of an existing land use.  Inver Grove Heights also participates in the MCCD’s Dakota County ‘Open to Business’ program that looks at plans and provides free advice and financing to developers.


Mayor of Shakopee – Brad Tabke
In addition to his duties as mayor, Tabke works at Ethical Landscape Consultants, LLC, which he founded to help busy property managers contract outside services. Mayor Tabke identified two focus areas for Shakopee’s development efforts, which tie into its location and the city’s origins as a bedroom community.

  • The first is rehabilitating its main street to be attractive and foster small business.  A loan program assists with Main Street exterior work.
  • The second objective is to bring employers to Shakopee. This allows the city’s highly-educated population to work in Shakopee, rather than commute across the one very busy bridge connecting it to Minneapolis. Holding job fairs and promoting internship programs in partnership with the high school, community colleges and technical schools are some tools Shakopee uses to develop a work force to attract businesses.
  • The mayor and city have been successful in bringing in commercial development, including Amazon, Polaris and Rahr Malting Company.

Thanks to the Program Committee for a wonderful event.

Entry filed under: Featured Articles.

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