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Showing posts from 2010

Midtown Commons in the News!

Finance and Commerce had a nice article about Midtown Commons on 12/17/10. It's pretty cool that 2324 University used to house street cars, and now will be located at a light rail station.

Mid-City Area Keeps Growing

The Raymond & University neighborhood continues to grow even in this tough economy. The great location combined with future light rail makes it a perfect opportunity. The Chittenden & Eastman building at 2402 will be converted into market rate apartments. The seven story building is currently occupied by many artists and a variety of smaller businesses. Also the St. Paul Port Authority is developing the site at Wabash and Pelham - the former Overnight Express trucking company. The old buildings have been demolished and a purchase agreement has been put in place to develop the land. These two projects will revive two underutilized and run-down sites. Update is excited for the new energy that is definitely flowing into the neighborhood.

We're Thankful for Our Tenants!

Update Company would like to say a big THANK YOU to all our tenants. Even though we see many of you every day, we don't often get to say thanks for your business. Of our 92 tenants, 23 have been with us 15 years or more - Nine more have been with us between 10 and 15 years. We think that shows how great this area is to do business. Hopefully it also reflects our efforts to be good building managers. We appreciate that there are many buildings our there to choose from for your office and warehouse needs. Thanks again for choosing Update! HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!

Trends in Paint Colors

Choosing Paint Colors How do you find inspiration for choosing office colors? Do you choose a color you like from home? Match your office partitions? Hire a decorator? Sherwin Williams has trend spotters working to find trends in lifestyle and decorating. Here are ideas for today's trends in colors: http://

HELP! Too Many Phone Books!

Feel like you get more phone books than you can use? The Phone book industry has put together (finally) a site where you can opt out of receiving a printed phone book: An article I read this week in Finance and Commerce stated that 85% of all phone books are thrown away, which is against Minnesota law. All of Update's buildings have co-mingled recycling, so our tenants can dispose of phone books the "green" way. But the best way to deal with the big yellow books is to only get them if you want them.

Check this out - The Foundry on Raymond's 1st Tenant

CodeWeavers Creative Office Space This 4050 sq. ft. space has a loft area and a mix of private and open space. Creative color scheme and exposed brick make this a unique space. Many windows (that actually open) and lush landscaping make this a great place for employees to work. Update worked with CodeWeavers to incorporate their needs and designs into the suite. Our great subcontractors really helped to come up with creative solutions in lighting, railings, windows and flooring. We're really excited about how this space turned out.

A peek inside our newest project

Here's a look at the inside of The Foundry at Raymond. The big iron trusses are so cool and the light from all the windows is amazing. These photos are with the lights off!

Banks Brothers Construction - Our Newest Tenant

We are pleased to welcome Banks Brothers Construction to our Midtown Commons campus of buildings. Already part of the west Midway neighborhood, Banks Brothers specializes in construction and remodeling of retail spaces in the Twin Cities.

Before and After

Here's a comparison of The Foundry before and after renovation. What a difference!

Quirky University Avenue!

I enjoyed this article about unusual items along the central corridor LRT route. We definitely have a little of everything here! If you haven't checked out site, you should! They post some really cool articles.

Minnesota Women's Press - Update's newest tenant

Update Co. is pleased to welcome Minnesota Women's Press to our building at 970 Raymond Avenue. We are excited that the staff at Minnesota Women's Press has decided office with Update. A long-time fixture in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood, they are moving up Raymond about 4 blocks from their former space near Keys Restaurant. Sharing stories by women and about women, the Women's Press makes a difference in the lives of women in our state. Please check their website You can find classified ads for women-owned businesses, arts and entertainment, and book reviews.

Eagle sighting at the Foundry ! ? !

Tuesday morning Jack McCann was outside 700 Raymond talking to one of our contractors when he noticed what appeared to be an immature bald eagle taking a quick dip in the storm water pond on the south side of the building. It flew off shortly after, when it was being scolded by a number of smaller birds. It hasn't taken long for wildlife to find our little pond, a number of birds use it for bathing, and a mallard duck has been sighted there too.

Forecast Public Art

My new favorite website is It has great news about innovation, development and creativity in the twin cities area. A nice interview with Jack Becker from Forecast Public Art is featured. Forecast has been a tenant at Midtown Commons since 1992. We are pleased to see their organization grow. I also read a great article about the new development The Lyric apartments - They are wonderful apartments just opened in the MidCity area, the neighborhood around the proposed LRT station at Raymond. I am excited to be a part of the growing "MidCity" area.

20 New Trees in the Midway!

Originally the building at 700 Raymond had two trees in front, and a box elder tree in the back, now the building will have an assortment of around 20 trees - maples, birch, honey locust and crab apples. In addition to a storm water pond and a variety of bushes and flowers will be planted. And of course, no ash trees! Update Company is proud to have established over 70 trees at the dozen or so buildings we have developed. O ur tenants love the beautiful flower planters at Midtown Commons. Oldtimers (like me) remember when there was no grass in the MidCity (Raymond & University) area, except for occaisional weeds. We are excited to see other developments like the Carleton Lofts adding green to the area. Take a walk or bike ride down to 700 Raymond and see watch our new building grow!

The Central Corridor Raymond Station

Should it be called Raymond Station? Since planning started, there has been a light rail station at Raymond Avenue. But outside of the Midway area, not many people know where Raymond Avenue is. Should we come up with a more unique name for our corner of the the West Midway? I suggest Mid-City Station .

Remember on Memorial Day

Remember to say thanks to a vet this weekend!! I will be remembering my many uncles and cousins who served in the armed forces. I am sending special thanks to my "adopted son" Private Dane Christle-Anderson who is with the 38th Sapper Division in Baghdad looking for roadside bombs.

Dealing with the Metropolitan Council

Did you know that if a building owner wants to install a shower for a new tenant that it must pay $ 2100 to the Met Council for each shower? In addition when my brother Jim wanted to go down to the Met Council office he was told that they do not meet face to face with a developer. They have to talk via phone or email. He could not go over the plans in person to explain our development or ask questions. Makes you wonder if government is getting a little too big........

Wecome to Update's Newest Tenants

We've been quite busy in the last few months! Here are the latest tenants to move into the Update family of properties: iLoan - Midtown Commons Along Came Music - 2300 Myrtle Ave. Nagios - 970 Raymond Total Fire Alarm & Security - 2380 Wycliff NARAL ProChoice MN - 2300 Myrtle Ave. G.C. Peterson Machinery - 2300 Myrtle Ave. CodeWeavers - The Foundry at Raymond Welcome! We appreciate your decision to lease with Update Company.

We Take Care of our Tenants so They Can Take Care of You.

Update Company would like to spotlight a few of our tenants that provide services to keep you healthy. Holly House Center for Integrated Healthcare Dr. Patricia Lawler DC, CCN , DACBN , NP and her staff treat the whole person, inside and out with services that range from chiropractic care, massage therapy, naturopathy , and stress management . 2324 University 651-645-6951 Midtown Chiropractic Dr. Don Habermas - Scher D.C. , P.A. has offered chiropractic care at 970 Raymond for over 20 years, helping to diagnose and treat many common spinal issues. 651-644-0455. Wyndgate Health PLLC is a clinical practice specializing in personalized therapeutic vitamin and dietary programs treating symptoms of: Autism, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease, Memory Issues, Depression, Anxiety, ADHD , Behavior and Violence, Parkinson’s Disease, male and female hormone imbalances, food intolerances and gastrointestinal dysfunctions. http://www.wyndgatehealth


Midtown Commons is proud to help present: Wing Young Huie's University Avenue Project The Language of Urbanism : A six- milePhotographic Inquiry From May to October, 2010 Wing Young Huie's photographs will transform University Avenue into a six mile gallery, revealing the everyday realities of the diverse neighborhoods connected by this urban thoroughfare. Photos will be displayed in store windows, murals and projection screens all along University. At 1433 University each night there will be a two hour projection of photographs on 40' screens plus diverse local music. Midtown Commons is excited to display eight of the photos at our 2324 University building. Come take a tour down University Avenue. See what the buzz is all about.

Thank You Renewing Update Tenants

This week Update Company was pleased to receive three lease renewals - The Law Firm of Frank Shulte - tenant since 2007 Customer FX - tenant since 1996 Academy Mayer Language Center - tenant since 1994 We value our long term relationships with our tenants. We can't do it without you!

Setting the Stage for Development

A CHALLENGE... I have a challenge for commercial property owners and real estate brokers along University Avenue: Let's set the stage for new development. In residential real estate one trend is "Staging" a house to make it appeal to potential buyers. Along University, many buildings are available for sale or lease. But many properties desperately need "staging". I feel the whole Avenue could use a little staging. Here are some photos of available properties. Residential brokers tell you that to sell a house, it needs curb appeal. Building owners need to step up to the plate and remove old awnings and painted signs in the windows. The old car dealerships should get rid of the foil bunting hanging in the lots and the Chevy/Buick logos. The City of St. Paul should enforce sign ordinances to prevent the"over signing" of buildings. And of course, weeds and trash should be picked up. All eyes will be on University as light rail construction starts. Let'

The Foundry at Raymond

We've got a name for our newest project: 700 Raymond is now The Foundry at Raymond. Our project is now ready for leasing and we're really excited about how the building is turning out. We have a number of interested parties and anticipate being able to announce our first tenants very soon. Originally built in the 1920's our building was built as a foundry. Later it was used for over 40 years by National Mower Company, a business owned by t he Kinkaid family. They made the large mowers used on golf courses. We would love to give you a tour of the site. It has lots of windows and will have a beautifully landscaped lot for tenants to enjoy. We've incorporated many green features including reusing wood and brick from other projects. We also are using windows that actually open - something many of our tenants have asked for in the past. The old brick and iron trusses offer a unique feel to the building that you just don't get in today's construction.

Caffe Biaggio 2356 University Ave.

Every time I eat at Caffe Biaggio I find a new favorite item on the menu. Last week it was the brushetta trio. Wow - everyone at our table enjoyed it. John D'Agostino and Shari Breed have really turned Caffe Biaggio into a great meeting place for lunch or dinner. The staff is very attentive, the art is cool and the food is delicious. The restaurant is located at 2356 University Avenue, at the corner of Raymond and University. or 651-917-7997 Open every day except Sunday.

Light Rail Brings Opportunity and Development to The Midway

Focus on Opportunities Too! Let's set aside the controversy on LRT loss of parking and MPR vibration lawsuits for a minute and look at LRT from another side - development opportunity. Over the last week I have shown Update Company's office buildings to an arts group, a charter school, a design firm, a nonprofit group, and a software company. What do they all have in common? They all want to be located on the Central Corridor LRT line. Business people may disagree on many factors regarding the Central Corridor, but there's one thing we can agree on: LRT is already bringing millions of dollars in new development to the Midway . Here are some examples: The Lyric apartments are near completion at the Raymond Station. Frogtown Square senior housing and retail has begun construction at the Dale Station. The New Victoria Theatre group is proposing the renovation of 825 University into a community music venue at the Victoria station. 700 Raymond is being developed into creative lof

Midway People Doing Cool Things Vol 2 - PETER LEACH

Photo Exhibit at Como Park Conservatory Peter Leach, an Update Company tenant, is well known as a potter, fewer people know that he is an excellent photographer as well. The Como Conservatory is showing a photo exhibit by Peter Leach featuring dramatic seasonal images of the Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden. The exhibit will open to the public on Friday, February 5. Over 40 color prints will be on display. The images portray both familiar views of the Garden and images few ever see. The Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden is open from May 1 through September 30, thus very few people have had the experience of seeing the Garden blanketed in sparkling snow. Following the Conservatory exhibit, the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee will send a selection of Leach’s photos to Nagasaki, where they will be on display in April as part of the 55th anniversary of the sister city relationship between St. Paul and Nagasaki, Japan. On Saturday, February 6 at 11:00 AM, the public is invited t

Sign a lease in February Get a year's worth of cookies!

Saint Paul Classic Cookie Company Our newest neighbor - at Territorial Rd and Raymond Avenue. Stop in and try some awesome cookies. They also serve Peace organic and fair trade coffee, muffins, tea and more. New tenants signing leases in February will get a year's supply of cookies for their office. I have tried 3 kinds, the oatmeal raisin is my favorite so far. Check out their blog at 2386 Territorial, parking in back

New Creative Loft Offices from Update Company

700 Raymond is really taking shape! We are ready to begin leasing for summer occupancy. The unique offices we've developed will range in size from 2700 sq. ft. to 15,000 sq. ft. Suites will have unique exposed brick and huge iron trusses. Every suite will have many windows. Being one block off University will be a little quieter during light rail construction, and we have plenty of parking. One block from Keys Restaurant, Cafe' Biaggio , the Post Office, US Bank. This is a great location in a growing neighborhood. If you want a tour, please give us a call. We're excited to show off our newest project. Update Company 651-641-0208

Update Company's Stand on Central Corridor Light Rail

Light Rail is Coming - Midtown Commons is Ready For many years, we've heard about light rail - the possibilities and the potential disruptions - for our tenants and our company. When a big project like this comes, you can get involved or bury your head in the sand. We have chosen to get involved in the dialog and give our input into the upcoming project. Light rail will affect our five buildings at Midtown Commons 2314, 2324, 2334 University, 2300 Myrtle and 700 Raymond. The Raymond LRT Station will be built in front of our buildings. We don't know the timeline, but it will be built between 2011 and 2014. We will lose about 12 on street parking spaces in front of our buildings We will be assessed for streetscape improvements - estimated at over $ 30,000 The good news is this: We're ready for the rail and up to the challenge. We have maximized our parking lots and maintained a parking permit system that will help us manage the loss of on street spaces. We are continuing t