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Just Sold: New Hope apartments sell for $10 million.

Byline: Anne Bretts

Editor's note: "Just Sold" is a Finance & Commerce feature based on certificates of real estate value recently filed for commercial transactions and significant residential transactions in Twin Cities counties. Additional details in the transactions come from Plat Research, the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office, company documents, online real estate listings, F&C archives, CoStar and other research. Some purchase prices and per-unit calculations have been rounded. Full prices are available on the CRVs posted here.

St. Louis Park-based Kramer/Saxl Group has paid $10 million to acquire the 86-unit Continental Village Apartments in New Hope from a private investor in North Oaks.

Kramer Saxl LLC closed Oct. 26 on the purchase from Merit Acquisition. The property includes three Class C buildings, built in 1968 at 5600 and 5632 Boone Ave. N. and 8500 56th Ave. N. The low-rise buildings feature 28 one-bedroom units and 58 two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 702 to 926 square feet, with rents from $851 to $926 per month.

The new owners may increase rents over time, but that's not their first priority, said Elliot Upin, a partner in the small self-managed company.

"We want to get to know the residents," Upin said, stressing that ownership changes can have a big impact on renters.

"You're dealing with people's homes," he said. "You're dealing with people's lives. We love our residents and we want to give our residents a fair deal."

The husband and wife team of Robert Kramer and Susi Saxl started the company. Upin joined them in 2014.

"I was in the right place at the right time," said Upin, explaining that he was a friend of the owners' children. When the children grew up and chose other careers, he stepped in and took over many day-to-day operations for the company's portfolio. Before the latest acquisition, it included 210 units in 14 buildings in five properties in Minneapolis and its northern suburbs.

Upin found the company a good fit and became a partner in 2016.

The price for the New Hope property works out to $116,279 per unit. The average sales price per unit for apartments in the Twin Cities metro area is $133,545, according to the Finance & Commerce Apartment Sales Tracker at The tracker has recorded the sale of 46,197 apartment units since Aug. 31, 2011.

The seller bought the property for $4.83 million in 2008.

Peter Michel, vice president of Michel Commercial Real Estate in Minneapolis, represented the investor who had owned the property.

The seller's prepayment penalty had ended and he thought it was a good market in which to sell, Michel said in an email. The first buyer Michel brought through the buildings was Kramer, who made an offer the seller accepted.

Purchase price: $10 million, with no down payment listed and new financing

Price per unit: $116,279

Last sale: $4.83 million in 2008

Property ID: 06-118-21-42-0003/0005

Date of deed: 10-26-18

ECRV released: 11-7-18

Linn Cos. pays $5.6M for office in Woodbury

Description: 43,506-square-foot Class B office, built in 1998 on 4.59 acres at 7616 Currell Blvd. in Woodbury

Buyer: Linn Investment Properties LLC, part of The Linn Cos., Woodbury

Seller: Heather Avenue Property Group LLC, an entity related to Sara Investment Real Estate, Madison, Wisconsin

Purchase price: $5.565 million, with no down payment and new financing

Price per square foot: $127.91

The transaction: When the 15 employees in the headquarters of The Linn Cos. needed more space than the company had in an office building it owns in Woodbury, CEO Stephen Linn decided to keep it as an investment and buy another.

Linn Investment Properties LLC, the real estate division of the family-owned company, closed Nov. 1 on the $5.565 million purchase of the 43,506-square-foot office building at 7616 Currell Blvd. in Woodbury. The price works out to $127.91 per square foot.

Linn said he didn't have to walk the halls to know the 20-year-old multitenant building would work for his company.

"We leased there 14 years ago," he said. The company moved in 2004 when he bought the company's current office building, the Woodlane Professional Building, at 1789 Woodlane Drive in Woodbury. Linn bought the 11,760-square-foot multitenant Woodlane Drive building for $700,000, according to CoStar.

Linn estimates he'll need 5,000 to 7,000 square feet for company offices in the Currell Boulevard building and will continue to lease out the rest of it. He is hoping to find a tenant for the space he's vacating in the Woodlane Drive building.

Clarence Linn started out in the 1960s with one Standard Oil station in Cottage Grove and soon added one in Woodbury, according to the company website. He retired in 1991, and today Stephen Linn leads a team of second-generation family members and 300 employees in four divisions, including convenience stores, auto-related businesses, laundromats and commercial real estate. The company operates 18 retail locations and owns and manages 26 commercial properties.

The seller of Currell Boulevard building was Heather Avenue Property Group LLC, an entity related to Madison, Wisconsin-basedSARA Investment Real Estate. SARA has offices in Minneapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

SARA bought the Currell Boulevard building for $7.497 million in 2007. Its website shows it now owns three properties in the Twin Cities. As Finance & Commerce reported, Chicago-basedR2 Cos.paid SARA $33.97 million in five transactions in October for eight buildings in the northwest quadrant of Interstate 35W and Broadway Avenue.

Last sale: $7.497 millionin 2007

Property ID: 08-028-21-42-0021

Date of deed: 11-1-18

ECRV released: 11-7-18



Northeast Minneapolis portfolio sells for $34 million

Certificates of real estate value

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Publication:Finance and Commerce
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:Nov 14, 2018
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