In Minneapolis, One Business Center and Two Success Stories

Blue Dot and Room & Board are both fast-growing, Minnesota-based furniture retailers. Similarly, when it came to locating their new distribution facilities, they both needed flexibility and plenty of input into the process. As a result of working with Duke Realty, they’re now both located in Gateway North Business Center in Otsego, Minnesota.

No accident brought them there. Just good customer relations.

Blue Dot started out in just 1,000 square feet in Minneapolis in 1997. When they came to Duke Realty, they were on their third space in less than 20 years and were growing between 30 to 50 percent a year. According to co-founder and COO Maurice Blanks, other landlords were saying, “Here’s a 200,000-square-foot building; you move in day one, you need 85,000 square feet, but you’re going to pay us for 200,000.”

Duke Realty came up with a proposal that allowed Blue Dot to pay for the space they need today, but also provided for the space the company will need in five to seven years.

Room & Board also found that Duke Realty’s responsiveness to customer needs made the big difference.

Bruce Champeau, Room & Board’s president and COO, said they were confident about Duke Realty’s commitment to getting things right. “Not only were they just incredibly thorough, but they took the time to really understand Room & Board’s business.” The time they took up-front to understand the operation, Champeau said, “resulted in a first-class building that allowed us not only to meet our needs, but obviously saved us money.”

For Josh Budish, VP of Leasing and Development for the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, both relationships were really about the people. “I enjoy getting to know the owners of these companies, or the decision makers,” he said. “All of us in Minneapolis just truly enjoy the relationship side of things. We enjoy real estate very much. We’re very passionate about what we do.”

Duke Realty’s success depends on the success of its clients and partners. “It’s about being able to listen to what they’re looking for,” said Budish. “It’s also about looking at things through the client’s perspective, and figuring out how to save them money and make them successful.”

For more about these successful Duke Realty stories, check out the video below.