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MINNEAPOLIS-Hines Interests, which owns and/or manages more than five million sf in the city, including 225 S. Sixth, 50 S. Sixth, Wells Fargo Center and US Bank Plaza, is looking to construct another million sf tower. The Houston-based company has signed with the 614 Co., based here to build the new office building on a half-block along Marquette, between Ninth and 10th Streets S.

Bill Chopp. SVP of operations and head of the local office of the firm, tells GlobeSt.com that the property could cost about $300 per sf to build, or about $300 million. He says the discussion is very preliminary, however, as no rendering has even been drawn yet. The building will likely be more than 50 stories, and would be one of the tallest towers in the Downtown. “The height or amount of sf could change, we could decide just to build a 500,000-sf or 600,000-sf building,” Chopp says. Perkins & Will, the design firm, will have a rendering soon, he says.

Target is the big employer in the city, and many commercial real estate experts expect the major retailer to be looking for a new headquarters when its lease for about 800,000-sf main space at the 33 S. Sixth building Downtown is up in 2012. However, Chopp says Target is not in Hines’ sights. “This isn’t just for them, that’s not why we’re doing it. We’re doing it because at that time there will be a lot of space in the area that will come up for lease end at about the time we expect to finish this building. There’s also not a lot of buildings planned, so we would be the best offer out there. We honestly don’t know that Target won’t want to stay where it is, which would make this ridiculous to do a million sf building just on that possibility,” he says. The city has about 27.2 million sf, with a 17% vacancy rate now, according to a Grubb & Ellis first quarter market report.

Locally-based Hunt Associates had teamed up with Opus Corp. to build a 50-floor mixed-use building, with about 500,000 sf of office, at 1001 Nicollete to lure Target from the nearby headquarters. However, Opus has reportedly quit the plan. Hunt could not be reached for comment.

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