Visionary Real Estate Developer Rauenhorst Dies At 86

Visionary Real Estate Developer Rauenhorst Dies At 86

In 1953, Gerry Rauenhorst founded Rauenhorst Construction Company, which evolved into what is today the Minnetonka-based Opus Group.

Gerry Rauenhorst, one of the biggest and most influential players in Minnesota construction and development circles, died at age 86 on Thursday.

He started the Rauenhorst Construction Company in 1953. That company grew into what is today the Minnetonka-based Opus Group.

The company began modestly, landing a contract to build the Zion Lutheran Church in Rauenhorst’s hometown of Olivia. The company changed its name to the Opus Corporation in 1982. By the 1980s, Opus had grown into a large company, building projects such as the Fifth Street Towers in downtown Minneapolis.

Rauenhorst was a longtime trustee and benefactor of the University of St. Thomas, from which he graduated in 1948. Over the years, the Opus Group has been involved in the design or construction of 22 buildings on the St. Thomas campuses. Read his full obituary here.

Twin Cities Business inducted Rauenhorst into its Minnesota Business Hall of Fame in 2001, in honor of his long and distinguished career as one of the state’s business leaders.