HGA Signs 80,000 Sq. Ft. Lease in Ford Center

HGA will move into 80,000 square feet of renovated space on the first four floors of the Ford Center in the summer of 2011.

HGA Architects and Engineers is the latest local company to make a move in the current tenant-friendly market and sign a lease in a new building.

The company announced Tuesday that it has signed a 12-year lease for 80,000 square feet in the Ford Center, which is located in Minneapolis' Warehouse District.

In addition to being a new tenant in the Ford Center, previously called the Ford Centre, HGA will also serve as the project architect on the building's recently announced renovations-which include new mechanical systems, restrooms, and elevators, and redesigning the building's Fifth Street entrance.

United Properties, which owns the Ford Center, recently received historic renovation design approval from the National Park Service and the Minneapolis Historic Preservation Commission, and approval for a building addition from the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission for the center's renovations.

“As HGA serves an expanding national and regional client base, the Ford Center's generous floor plates support collaborative teamwork-and its proximity to light rail and public transit-reinforces our firm's commitment to urbanism and sustainability,” Stephen Fiskum, HGA's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

HGA's move reflects a recent trend of companies relocating due to the Twin Cities' high-vacancy, low-rent market. Earlier this month, law firm Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, LLP, announced that it signed a lease in the Campbell Mithun Tower.

At that time, Chris Rohrer, executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc., which represented the law firm in the deal, said that the firm's move wasn't unique.

“It's a favorable market for tenants right now just because the economy has stopped companies from growing a ton” and opened up space as they have downsized, Rohrer told Twin Cities Business earlier this month. “You get a lot more creativity in a market that's friendly for tenants.”

Russ Nelson, president and principal at Nelson, Tietz and Hoye-which represented HGA in the transaction-said that many factors attracted HGA to the space in the Ford Center, including “competitive economics.”

HGA is Minnesota's third-largest architectural firm based on its architectural billings from Minnesota offices, which totaled $21.8 million in 2009. The company is also among the 20-largest engineering firms based on engineering billings of $11.6 million in 2009.