Why Sezzle Moved to The Dayton’s Project
The rooftop terrace of the Dayton’s Project overlooks the downtown Minneapolis skyline. Photo by Caitlin Abrams

Why Sezzle Moved to The Dayton’s Project

The fintech company has moved, but it’s staying in downtown Minneapolis.

At its prior office in the McKesson Building in downtown Minneapolis, financial technology firm Sezzle encountered the same problem as scores of other businesses these days: Too much space for too few employees.

That’s part of the reason the company is now relocating to a smaller office in The Dayton’s Project on Nicollet Mall.

Late last week, Sezzle announced that it has signed a “long-term lease” for an 11,500-square-foot office on the sixth floor of The Dayton’s Project. Sezzle is moving into one of the development’s “spec suites,” which are fully furnished and ready for quick move-in. “Spec suites were a leasing and economic development strategy that The Dayton’s Project undertook during the pandemic,” project spokeswoman Cailin Rogers said in an email. “It allowed the building to create jobs and to pre-build office spaces so that tenants like Uncommon and Sezzle could immediately occupy spaces without waiting for the process to build out an office.”

The new office is notably smaller than Sezzle’s old space at the McKesson Building, where the company previously occupied 18,000 square feet. Like many other companies in the hybrid era, Sezzle had been looking to downsize for a while, said president Paul Paradis.

“We had way too much space for the number of people going in at our prior location,” Paradis said in a Monday afternoon interview.

The company’s aim, he said, was to find a space that employees would be excited to go to. Sezzle had explored a few options, including at the West End in St. Louis Park and at Target’s old financial services building at 3701 Wayzata Boulevard. But the amenities at The Dayton’s Project stood out, Paradis said. The property includes access to a fitness center and a rooftop terrace, among other perks.

The Dayton’s Project “checked all the boxes,” Paradis said.

At most, Sezzle’s new office has space for about 100 people. But Paradis noted that the company has the option to temporarily rent out additional board rooms and other community spaces for larger events. Sezzle, which is based in Minnesota but is publicly traded in Australia, employs about 300 people in total.

Sezzle is covering the cost of parking or transit for employees that come to the new office, Paradis said.

Sezzle’s move is hardly unusual in the current office environment. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the rapid adoption of remote work, countless other businesses have downsized their office footprints. Last month, the Fredrikson law firm formally opened its new smaller office at 60 South Sixth Street in downtown Minneapolis, though the company had been planning to move prior to the pandemic. The firm’s new space spans just shy of 160,000 square feet, about 25% smaller than its old office at the U.S. Bank Plaza.

Though Sezzle remains based in Minneapolis, it has been a publicly traded company in Australia since 2019. Sezzle offers a “buy-now, pay-later” platform that enables users to make payments for purchases over time. Unlike traditional credit cards, Sezzle’s platform doesn’t affect users’ credit scores. The buy-now, pay-later space has been steadily growing over the years, with competitors like Klarna and Affirm also vying for customers. But Sezzle execs said that the industry is more established in Australia, which is why the company went public there first.

Paradis confirmed that Sezzle is still planning to launch an initial public offering in the United States. The company publicly stated its intent to go public in the U.S. back in 2021.

Meanwhile, The Dayton’s Project still has quite a bit of space left for future tenants, although it’s added five new ones over the last two years. The redevelopment of the historic Dayton’s Department Store has about 850,000 square feet of office space in total. As of May, just about 100,000 square feet had been spoken for.

New York-based 601W Cos. purchased the Dayton’s building back in 2017 for $59 million. Since then, the company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars renovating the property, but has had a difficult time attracting tenants, even before the pandemic. In 2021, TCB published a deep dive into The Dayton’s Project.