"Despite the slowdown in the economy, we've had good activitynegotiating other leases right now in the 2,000 to 7,000 sf range,"says Brent Jacobson, vice president of leasing at Hempel."Locationally, this is a really good submarket in the highlydesirable Twin Cities area. It's easy to get to, right off Highway100."

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New tenants to lease space in the buildings include: CRMsoftware consulting firm Axonom, which took 6,400 sf; accountingand finance executive placement firm Venator, which will occupy2,200 sf; and enterprise solutions provider iBusiness, which willmove into 2,200 sf. Asking lease rates in the buildings are around$12 per sf, net, Jacobson says.

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Minneapolis/St.Paul-based Hempel purchased the two buildings,which total 220,000 sf combined, from Pennsylvania-based Urdang& Associates in early 2007. The buildings were originallydeveloped by Ryan Co. in the early 1980s, Jacobson says. He sayssince purchasing the buildings, Hempel has made extensiveimprovements to the properties, including technological upgrades ofconference rooms, lobby renovations, elevator modernizations, addedsignage, and new landscaping.

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"We put significant capital into the buildings," Jacobson tellsGlobeSt.com. "They now offer a lot of the amenities you'd find inclass A buildings, for the really economic class B deals that we'redoing. We've definitely seen a spike in activity as a result of theimprovements we've done to the buildings."

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