Posts filed under ‘Programs | Events’

2017 Awards of Excellence Project Winners

Congratulations to the project winners at NAIOP Minnesota’s 34th Annual Awards of Excellence!

See the complete list of 2017 project nominees.

See the detailed list of winners along with their full project teams.

October 10, 2017 at 9:46 am

2017 University Challenge: Event Photos, Student Bios & Presentations

Thank you to everyone to attended and supported the 2017 University Real Estate Challenge, hosted by event sponsors Triple Five and the Mall of America.

Below are the bios from the student participants as well as each school’s presentation, which detailed their proposed development plan for the former Thunderbird Motel site in Bloomington.

Congratulations to the top 3 teams:
1. University of Wisconsin-Madison
2. Marquette University
3. University of Minnesota

Thank you to The Opus Foundation®, who partnered with NAIOP in supporting our future commercial real estate professionals at the 2017 University Real Estate Challenge.

Congrats again to all of our student participants!

Marquette University | PresentationStudent bios
St. Cloud State University | PresentationStudent bios
University of Minnesota | PresentationStudent bios
University of Northern Iowa | PresentationStudent bios
University of St. Thomas | PresentationStudent bios
University of St. Wisconsin-Madison | PresentationStudent bios

April 27, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Feb 14 breakfast: Discussing Twin Cities Office Acquisitions & Development

Join your colleagues for breakfast on February 14 as NAIOP kicks off its 2017 programming with a panel of local experts discussing office acquisitions and development.

Tony Barranco, Vice President of Office & Mixed-Use Development for Ryan Companies US.
Gordy Stofer, Vice President of Office Development for United Properties.
Ryan Watts, Senior Vice President of Capital Markets for CBRE.
– Moderated by Andy Finn, Vice President – Acquisitions & Investments for Founders Properties.

Plenty of topics to cover: – The opportunities. – The projects being worked on. – The tenants in the market. – The impact of rising interest rates on sales transactions. – The sources for equity.

Details and registration at or call (952) 928-4647.

February 2, 2017 at 10:30 am

2016 Awards of Excellence Project Winners

Congratulations to the project winners at NAIOP Minnesota’s 33rd Annual Awards of Excellence!

See the complete list of 2016 project nominees.

See the detailed list of winners along with their full project teams.

September 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

NAIOP’s University Challenge: Connecting students to their commercial real estate future

By Adam Voge, Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq


Nate Erickson

In 2011, Nate Erickson was a senior at St. Cloud State University, months away from entering the commercial real estate field and looking for opportunities after graduation.
Fast forward five years, and Nate can point out the decision that put his career on the path it’s on today: competing in NAIOP Minnesota’s University Challenge.

Nate signed up for the competition, which pits various area schools against each other in a quest to pitch the best development for a site somewhere in the Twin Cities. Nate’s team was one of five to present competing visions for redeveloping the Oakdale Mall.
The contest is hypothetical, so his team’s vision hasn’t become a reality, but one thing certainly materialized from the experience: a career path.

“The University Challenge is partly why I’m here,” said Nate.

After the competition, Nate received a call from Jen Helm, a broker at Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq, who asked whether he would be interested in interning in her retail group. Nate took the job, and today is an upwardly mobile Associate of Brokerage Services.
Not only is Nate a rising broker at Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq, he’s an active volunteer for NAIOP. This year, he decided to co-chair the committee planning the same competition he credits with advancing his career: The University Challenge.

Nate reiterates with student participants just how important the event could be to them, helping them see development and real estate from the bigger picture perspective and helping them make contacts for the future.

“I try to reiterate with the students today that having something like this on your resume, no matter your final place in the competition, helps set you apart,” he said. “And since real estate is hot, many kids are looking to get into the industry. They’re going to need that distinguishing factor.”

One of Nate’s teammates on that SCSU team in 2011 has also since joined Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq. About two years ago, Nate heard that Peter Fooshe was looking to break into brokerage, and Peter was able to find a position working in the industrial division at the firm.

Nate said the University Challenge encourages the kind of creativity and creative thinking that you won’t always find in the classroom.

“A lot of tests you take in college are multiple-choice or just have one right answer,” he said. “But with the University Challenge, there are tons of possibilities. The project is more conceptual and forces students to think outside the box.”

March 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

Recap | A Closer Look: Construction Prefabrication

By Cameron Snyder, Mortenson

The future is here. The rapid evolution of technology is taking design and construction well beyond what was possible 10 years ago and it’s helping contractors deliver projects with improved schedules and cost certainty. One such area where technology is enabling innovation is in prefabrication (prefab). Originating more than a century ago, the idea of modularized or prefabricated components in construction is not new. However, advancements in Building Information Modeling (BIM) are allowing for more precise, seamless application in commercial construction projects in order to realize quantifiable gains.

Last month at M.A. Mortenson Company in Golden Valley, NAIOP attendees learned about the current state of construction prefabrication, its benefits, and why use is growing in commercial projects. Tom Schmall, general manager, and Taylor Cupp, senior integrated construction coordinator, from Mortenson presented information on the company’s 15-plus year experience with multi-trade prefabrication. Mortenson is currently using prefab in several projects around the country including the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND, which is scheduled for completion in 2016.

In the past 10 years, the decision to utilize prefabricated versus site-built building components has gained a tremendous amount of attention in the construction industry. This shift in construction strategy can be attributed to BIM, project management philosophies like Lean Construction and further enhanced by new project delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). These new tools and strategies have allowed the industry to implement proven methods that have effectively been used by other industries, particularly the manufacturing industry. Prefabrication has emerged as one of these methods that benefits construction projects, and the industry as a whole, by increasing efficiency and lowering total cost.

An ideal complement to traditional on-site construction practices, prefabrication (prefab) reduces the time of project delivery and total cost, while increasing the quality and scope of possibilities on a project. The practice of prefabrication in construction involves the off-site assembly of highly replicable components of a building – wall systems, bathroom pods, roof trusses, and exterior panels, among others – that are built in warehouses prior to shipping, delivery and installation in a project.  These items are typically time-intensive to build on-site during the normal course of construction.
Prefabrication provides an added assurance that each component is consistently assembled to the required level of quality while still meeting tight deadlines. Assembly of some of a project’s most complicated and critical elements in an off-site controlled environment reduces congestion of both personnel and materials at the site, and significantly reduces time spent “off the ground.”

SCL Health’s Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver
Often lauded as a safer, faster and leaner form of construction, prefab offers numerous benefits. One example came during Mortenson’s construction of SCL Health’s 360-patient-bed Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, which opened in 2015. Healthcare projects, with the ability to reach a critical mass of repeating features, such as multi-trade above-ceiling racks, patient bathrooms and head walls, offer particularly good opportunities for a strong return on investment in prefabrication.

Mortenson was charged with building the 831,000-square-foot, 360-patient-bed hospital in 29.5 months. A traditional on-site linear approach would have resulted in a 36-month construction schedule, however through the application of prefabricated components, an 18 percent reduction in schedule was achieved. Prefabrication strategies allowed the project team to shave 72 days off the construction schedule along with $4.3M in indirect cost savings and reduced required labor by 29,500 hours. The hospital had one of the fastest-paced schedules ever achieved for this type of facility and was completed in late 2014. Mortenson published a study on the use of prefabrication, including results, which can be found online at

Sanford Medical Center, Fargo
Located in Fargo, the new, still-under-construction Sanford Fargo Medical Center is taking shape. At one million square-feet, it is the seventh largest healthcare project in the United States and the largest commercial construction project ever in North Dakota. Prefabrication is being used to help offset the area’s extremely low unemployment in the trades and other project complexities by pre-manufacturing many replicable components.

One example of this is the application of prefabricated bathrooms. These modular bathroom “pods” include all the finishes down to the shower curtains and fixtures – the exact elements if the bathrooms were built on site. The pods arrive at the project completely assembled – built in Boston and Ohio and shipped via trailer – and are hoisted and rolled into place for final connection on site. This “plug-and-play” approach for the hospital’s 360 patient room restrooms plus 86 other single toilet restrooms is made possible through the use of BIM and early planning with design and trade partners.
“The process of construction continues to evolve,” said Taylor Cupp, senior integrated construction coordinator at Mortenson. “Integrated construction and the use of Building Information Modeling allows for increased communication, which helps with the speed of construction while enhancing the overall quality of buildings today.”

January 25, 2016 at 2:06 pm

NAIOP Minnesota hosted sixth annual Tilt The Kilt

By Christopher Huntley, Huntley Law

As always, the Community Enhancement Committee for NAIOP Minnesota hosted a fantastic outing on this year. On Sept. 22, the sixth annual Tilt the Kilt competition attracted the fiercest ball rollers from around the land, or at least from the real estate community in the Twin Cities.

Competition was fierce and many teams showed true grit, but the ultimate ball rolling champion was Team High Rollers, made up of Nick Murnane from Opus, Erik Heltne from CBRE, Ted Gonsior from Colliers and Matt Rauenhorst from Opus.  Many good real estate professionals were lost during the battle, but there is no better way to go than on a beautiful fall day surrounded by deep-fried food and pints of glorious ale!

The ball rolling wasn’t the only competition out there that day. The Divas of Deboccery showed creative costume skills and brought home the Team Costume Award.  Congratulations to Christy Lewis of Opus, Skye Cook of Cushman & Wakefield|NorthMarq, Gretchen Camp of BKV and Susanne Miller of Loucks.  And, the creative minds of Spencer Finseth, David Rau, Mitch Weaver, and Hans Siefker, all from Greiner Construction, came away with the award for the best time name: Wobbly Balls.

October 20, 2015 at 4:30 pm

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