Marquette Plaza Next Office Bldg. on Auction Block

The downtown Minneapolis office building, which is currently 85 percent occupied, is being offered for sale without an asking price, according to a listing by CB Richard Ellis.

The Marquette Plaza building in downtown Minneapolis is the latest office building to hit the market, following on the heels of some other significant real estate listings and sales.

The building, located at 250 Marquette Avenue, is listed for sale on the Web site of CB Richard Ellis. The listing indicates that the 522,656-square-foot office building-which is 85 percent occupied-is being offered without an asking price. The listing also states that a bid due date will be set at a later time.

Hennepin County tax records place the estimated market value for the property at $44 million. The building was constructed in 1970, and tax records indicate that it is currently owned by FRM Associates, LLC. Don Palmer of the Minneapolis Assessor's Office on Friday said that FRM bought the property in 1997 for $500,000, although the price was relatively low because the site required significant infrastructure improvements.

The building was formerly occupied by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and according to a description on CB Richard Ellis' Web site, it has a current net operating income of $7.8 million.

The largest tenant of the building is Xcel Energy, which occupies four floors and employs about 614 workers at the offices. Other notable tenants include several government service agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service. Law firm Foley & Mansfield also occupies a significant amount of space in the plaza.

The building underwent a $60 million expansion and renovation in 2002, according to CB Richard Ellis. A report by Finance & Commerce indicates that the building was put up for sale in 2008 but did not sell during that very difficult time for the market.

Other recent property listings and sales indicate that office building owners may be slowly returning to the market. For example, news broke in late April that New York-based Brookfield Properties was placing the 33 South Sixth building-a 50-story building in downtown Minneapolis-on the auction block. Sources told the Star Tribune at that time that Brookfield may attempt to sell its other downtown properties, the RBC Plaza/Gaviidae II and Gaviidae I, after it tests the market with 33 South Sixth.

Winnipeg-based Artis Real Estate Investment Trust also recently announced that it paid $25 million for the 605 Waterford Park office building in Plymouth; the Riverview Office Tower in Bloomington was reportedly sold recently; Hennepin County paid about $26 million to buy the 701 Building in downtown Minneapolis, where it already occupied a significant amount of space; and the 601 Tower at Carlson Center in Minnetonka found a buyer in January.