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Future of the Twin Cities

Lately we have been talking about the future of Twin Cities Minnesota and the potential directions they will go based on the current course of commercial and residential real estate. We have even talked about the potential divergence of the two cities in the future based on their different growth patterns and investments.

A new path now lay ahead of the Twin Cities as large corporations from other lands start to eye the potential of the Twin Cities.  The large name developer AECOM is looking to expand their endeavors to Minnesota’s St. Paul location, bringing with them four new towers that would overlook St. Paul’s waterfront.

Who is AECOM?

AECOM is well known for their infrastructure projects that attempt to bring forth a spur in the capabilities of a society through the ground up. If you have been to a hospital, traveled by light rail, or attended a sporting event in the Twin Cities, chances are you have already seen some of their projects or interacted with their creations.

AECOM is a Los Angeles-based company that has delved into the infrastructure, health care, and transportation departments for most of its life, however now they are turning to residential sectors.

AECOM has just put forward two bold proposals for future projects that will involve residential sector development. The two projects involve the use of $1 billion for the creation of mixed-use buildings that will attempt to transform the riverfront downtown in St. Paul and a boutique condo building with groundbreaking designs in Minneapolis.

These projects are new for AECOM who made a company worth $20 billion through the ventures construction and finance and has established an international network of design. This company’s upbringing and current state of existence allows it to have resources that are not nearly as accessible for competitors in the Minneapolis area. Many of the regional development companies are having a difficult time competing with AECOM’s pressure.

AECOM’s Plan

The projects focus on the riverfront is the uprising of one of the largest housing projects to date in St. Paul. AECOM’s power has stemmed from their history of mergers and acquisitions and resulted in making quit the entrance to the Twin Cities in the late part of 2009 when they acquired Ellerbe Becket, one of the oldest and biggest architecture and engineering firms in the Twin Cities whose clients included large names like 3M and the Mayo Clinic.

While AECOM seems like another superpower company coming in to make its mark, they have shown intentions of instilling balance in the markets. Their past projects have included large market changers like the $63 million St. Paul ballpark in downtown St. Paul, as well as the near $1 billion Green Light light-rail transit project. AECOM believes that their involvement will spur more residential work, potentially creating more opportunities for growth, down to the individual.

Their choice of land for their projects involve property locations that have been in limbo for years due to the difficulties presented in construction. Their goal is to reshape the Twin Cities skyline that includes a narrow strip of riverfront bluff land in downtown St. Paul. The site used to be home to the county jail and West Publishing Co. and after their time was up, there had been many proposals presented to redefine the land there, but ultimately AECOM snagged the attention with the inclusion of four towers being built in three different phases.

The three phases are planned to be finished by 2026, while the first phase is estimated to be finished around 2021. Phase one is expected to include somewhere around 350 apartments, 150 condos, and a 250-room hotel, along with a 1,800 space underground parking to accommodate the aforementioned spaces. Not only will there be residential spaces, but the plan involves the inclusion of an amphitheater, restaurants, and retail space for all our money spending needs.

While nothing is quite concrete yet, there are difficulties expected to come AECOM’s way in the progression of this project. There is expected to be a higher demand for housing in the future since the project takes up so much space, but neither party have the fine details worked out yet, so things may yet change.

Not only that, but AECOM currently is in a back draw when it comes to their financial power, as it seems their total is down from previous years making investors cautious to the project, for fear of the company falling below the necessary financial threshold  before things are able to even get started, much less finish. In a response to the caution AECOM has stated they will be restructuring leadership and leaving the underperforming markets to ensure a smooth and easy process moving forward.

The future of the Twin Cities has yet another path open up to it, and while this new potential future is still not certain, we know that no matter the path the Twin Cities chooses, it will result in growth and stronger development!



Kontor Realty Group

Give us a call at Kontor Realty, we keep you ahead of the curve so you know when the roller-coaster will drop before everyone else does!

No matter if it’s residential or commercial realty, we can provide you with your property needs in an efficient and effective manner!

Phone: (612)567-1810

Email: yourplace@kontorrealtygroup.com

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