Feb 15, 2022 - Business

Downtown Minneapolis loses another employer

The exterior of Old Republic Title's building in downtown Minneapolis.

The Old Republic Title building will be vacated this spring. Image: Google streetview

Old Republic Title is moving out of its longtime downtown Minneapolis building and will open a new office in Minnetonka.

Why it matters: Downtown is trying to rebound from the pandemic and a loss of what is likely hundreds of daytime workers doesn't help.

Driving the news: The national title insurance group signed a lease for 80,500 square feet in the Crest Ridge Corporate Center off I-394 in Minnetonka, said Cushman & Wakefield broker Bob Revoir, who handles leasing at the building.

  • Old Republic declined to comment on the move.

Between the lines: Old Republic, which is based in Tampa, Florida, owns its downtown Minneapolis building, which stands 12 stories and was built in 1929.

  • The firm will likely sell the building, at 400 Second Ave. S, but it faces a difficult downtown market where office vacancies have risen to 28% in the pandemic.

The intrigue: The tower's small floor sizes make it a candidate for a conversion to apartments.

The bottom line: Early predictions of a mass exodus from downtown by large office users hasn't come true, but a few small firms have left.

  • "We're two years into the pandemic and I'm still a little surprised that we didn't see more movement out of downtown," said Revoir, who does suburban office leasing.

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