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WAYZATA, MN-Chicago-based Mid-America Real Estate Corp., a ChainLinks affiliate, has opened up a new branch in this suburb of Minneapolis. The company has hired Michael Sims as principal as head of the new branch, from his former job as VP of leasing for United Properties.

The company has a branch in Milwaukee, and it was time to enhance the Midwest presence, said principal Richard Spinell in a statement. The Minneapolis office will be full-service, including tenant representation, shopping center leasing, property management, construction management and investment sales, he said.

Sims tells GlobeSt.com that the new office has a handful of employees, and “I’m talking to a couple brokers to hire now. We’ll grow as we find the talent.” Sims says he’s worked with Mid-America for years through various business ventures, and that the timing was perfect for what he wanted to do. “They had their eye on Minnesota, and it’s a key place to be in the Midwest. They want to serve their current clients and relationships that have assets in the state.”

The former tenant rep says he has close contact with his former clients, including Lowe’s Home Improvement, TJX Cos., Best Buy, CVS and Wendy’s, as well as with development clients Ryan Cos, Opus and PBK Investments. He’s also past president of the Minnesota Shopping Center Association. “Lowe’s is a main client of mine since they started their market roll-out here four years ago,” Sims says. He’s also been heavily involved in local developments, such as Ryan Cos.’ Dean Lakes in Shakopee, MN, a 300-acre mixed-use project with residential and office. “I did all the retail for that, including a Lowe’s and a CVS,” he says. He’s also worked with Opus on bringing a Lowe’s and Kohl’s to Cambridge, MN.

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