Joe Ryan is connected to Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. US Inc.—Ryan Cos. chairman Pat Ryan is his brother—but he chose to cut his own path. In 1991, Ryan founded Excelsior-based Oppidan Investment Co., a commercial real estate developer. Oppidan has a long list of clients and has done projects all across the U.S. For many years Oppidan focused on retail developments, including national work for clients such as Orchard Supply Equipment and Duluth Trading Co. But Ryan knows that the firm’s future hinges on diversification. Oppidan’s brand-new Lowa46 in Minneapolis is a prime example: market-rate apartments combined with Cub Foods’ first-ever smaller-format store.