Woodbury State Farm campus being soldWoodbury’s largest unoccupied commercial property may have a new owner.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
Woodbury’s largest unoccupied commercial property may have a new owner.
State Farm Insurance has reached a deal to sell its vacant campus at Radio Drive and Interstate 94 to Wellington Management, a commercial property management firm that already has a presence in Woodbury.
State Farm executed a contract for sale with Wellington Management, said Missy Youmans, a State Farm community relations strategist.
“Basically, we’re thrilled the property is going to be used for some future economic development in Woodbury,” Youmans said Tuesday afternoon.
Details of the pending sale were not immediately available.
Officials with Wellington Management and Northmarq Real Estate Services, which was marketing the property, could not be reached immediately for comment.
State Farm built the sprawling, 473,000-square-foot campus in 1996. It served as a regional office for the insurance company. For a time it was Woodbury’s largest employer.
In 2003, State Farm announced plans to move operations from the Woodbury office to locations in Mendota Heights, Minn., and Lincoln, Nebraska. By 2005, the building was empty and State Farm was marketing it for sale.
The economic downturn and existing commercial property space significantly impacted demand for large office space, Youmans said.
“It was a matter of just finding a buyer with a right fit,” she said of the time it took to sell.
Mayor Bill Hargis said the building’s sale would be good for Woodbury. He said Tuesday that he had not received official word of the sale, but had heard rumors of the transaction.
Hargis said the city wants to see the building occupied.
“It’d be good to have some good-paying jobs,” he said. “I think that would be the key, because that’s what our strategy is.”
Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, said there have other prospects in the past five years, but a pending sale to Wellington Management is promising. Saltzman said she was told the deal included the sale of 50 undeveloped acres adjacent the business campus, land that could be used for additional office space, retail development or "high-end" elderly housing.
“Hopefully everyone is crossing their fingers that whatever it takes to close the deal gets done,” she said.