ST. PAUL, MN-Minnesota Life Insurance Co. plans to move into allbut the top floor of its new 635,000-sf building at401 Robert St. in Downtown St. Paul, and open up about300,000 sf of space in its current headquarters acrossRobert Street.After trying for months to prelease space in the new401 Robert building, the life insurance companyrecently decided to give potential tenants the optionof leasing space in its 400 Robert St. location.

Butwhen the new building opened last month, the companydecided to move into the new building and open up theolder one, says Mike Ohmes, an office specialist withUnited Properties.”They figured they would have more takers at $12 netpsf than at $18 net psf,”Ohmes explains.

Minnesota Life has left open for leasing the 25,000 sftop floor of the new building, Ohmes says. The idea isto attract a high-profile tenant who would like themarquee location.Up-to-date technology and large floor plates convincedMinnesota Life that their new building would be abetter location than the old, Ohmes says.

Fast-growing Minnesota Life will eventually need totake back space in its old building.In mid-October, Minnesota Life opened up the first twofloors, or the ground and skyway levels, which aremostly occupied by small retailers including a bank,coffee shop, a convenience store and a stock brokerageoffice.Welsh Cos. is the leasing agent for Minnesota Life inboth of its buildings.

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