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MINNEAPOLIS-New York City-based BlackRock has closed on the purchase of 175,000-sf of Calhoun Square, a collection of retail buildings in the Uptown neighborhood, for more than $45 million, say sources. The property was purchased from a joint venture of Principal Global Investors and North American Properties. Capital Growth Madison Marquette, the retail center’s current management company, will continue at the property.

BlackRock bought the 144,000-sf Calhoun Square main building, and a few adjacent retail buildings, says George Good, EVP with CB Richard Ellis. The property is made up of mostly tenants in the 5,000 sf to 10,000 sf range, and includes a Borders and a Famous Dave’s restaurant, he says.

The joint venture paid $30.3 million for the 23-year-old property in June 2004, according to sources. Principal had planned in 2005 on spending millions to expand the property to 320,000 sf, to include entertainment and office space. “They were going to add two residential towers and an expanded parking garage, but at the end of the day they decided to sell,” Good tells GlobeSt.com.

BlackRock is also planning on a large renovation project, but they have not said what will be done, or how much it will cost. “It’s much too early to know specifics, but, in the near future, we will re-initiate the planning process with the city,” says John Nagle, president and COO of Capital Growth.

Good says he doesn’t have an occupancy rate for the property, but that lease rates are in the $20s. “It’s right by the lake, surrounded by big-income houses,” he says. The property is at 3001 Hennepin Ave.

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