An iconic Minneapolis skyscraper, Capella Tower is a 1.5 million square-foot Class A office tower in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Completed in 1992, it was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and is arguably the most recognizable building in Minneapolis. In mid-2009, having partnered with ASB Capital Management for nearly 20 years, and after successfully managing eight other ASB properties throughout the US, Ryan was awarded the property management of Capella Tower.
When Ryan took over the management of the 58-story building, only two of the 16 staff members were retained, leaving Ryan to hire and train new management and maintenance staff to transition operations overnight—literally. We were handed the keys at 6:00 PM on a Thursday evening, and by Friday morning we had everything up and running smoothly with no disruption to tenants. After identifying a number of maintenance issues with the formerly neglected building, we spent the next several years overhauling all of the maintenance systems, updating best practices, organizing and digitizing systems, revamping the marketing strategy and creating a new website to better serve and communicate with existing and prospective tenants.
After completing significant renovations in 2014 and reopening in 2015, Capella Tower has transformed into a nationally award-winning, in-demand office space with loyal, satisfied tenants. As our biggest multi-tenant project with the largest property management team of any building in the area, Capella Tower has helped make Ryan the leading property manager in downtown Minneapolis.
Ryan recommissioned and enhanced Capella Tower’s Building Automation System to improve efficiency, installed low- and no-mercury light fixtures and implemented environmentally-friendly cleaning products and practices. These efforts contributed to Capella Tower achieving LEED-EB (existing building) Gold Certification in 2011.
Not only are these sustainable, green initiatives something Capella tenants can be proud of, Ryan’s efforts are paying off financially. The replacement of lavatories and the installation of new aerators on the building’s faucets have resulted in a 14 percent drop in water usage, amounting to 1.3 million gallons of water saved each year and an annual cost savings of approximately $10,000 at today’s rates.
Since taking over management of Capella Tower, Ryan’s Real Estate management team has engineered all aspects of the building, giving it some of the largest mechanical systems in the state. Before Ryan stepped in there was no online work order system, so when tenants had an issue they’d have to call the frequently understaffed management office to report it. Within the first few months of taking over management we made an online work order system that automatically dispatches to an onsite Ryan engineer, significantly improving response times. Our maintenance team also went from tracking 300 maintenance points to well over 1000, ensuring that everything in the building is functioning properly, resulting in more satisfied tenants and reducing risk for the building owner.
Ryan services at Capella include or have included property accounting, Ryan Building Services, capital markets, real estate management and construction management. The building also boasts an elevated security presence, specialized training for security workers and highly advanced video surveillance.
Capella Tower has received the TOBY Award, the most prestigious and comprehensive award in the commercial real estate industry. The award honors the best properties in 14 categories to recognize those that exemplify superior building quality and excellence in building management. It received the distinction of Outstanding Building of the Year 2013 in the category of local buildings over 1 million square feet from the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, and is recognized as a BOMA 360 Performance Building.
Capella Tower is a perfect example of great real estate and great real estate management coming together to improve and enhance a tenant’s business, while creating a space where users thrive. When Ryan took over as property manager in fall 2009, we partnered with building ownership and the Minneapolis CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) brokerage team to develop strategies to retain clients and lease the building’s vacant spaces in a competitive downtown market.
Ryan set the tone for our new management approach immediately, throwing a catered breakfast party for Capella’s staff and tenants the morning after taking over management. Since then, we’ve built successful relationships with existing tenants through regular outreach, best-in-class service and new online tenant tools for improved response time and knowledge sharing. Our groundbreaking tenant service model includes a website specifically devoted to the building, Ryan’s highly efficient electronic work order system, a full-time concierge, a high-end conferencing center and a devoted focus on community building. The brightly lit, modern design of the common area/co-working space that was created during the building renovation in 2014 is an integral new part of the building’s amenities and serves as an attractive marketing component to draw in and retain tenants.
The end result of our commitment to revitalizing Capella Tower is a building whose tenants and employees don’t want to be anywhere else. In just over 18 months, 350,000 square feet of new, expansion or renewal leases have been completed at the tower, making Capella a bright spot in a Class A office space market that still faces many vacancies.
Capella Tower is designated as a BOMA 360 Performance Building in recognition of the high standards the management team has achieved in every aspect of building operations and management. By achieving this designation, Ryan has demonstrated to their owners, tenants, prospective tenants and the community that the property is being managed to the highest standards of excellence.