601W Cos. Secures $250M Loan for Historic Mixed-Use Project

The financing will speed up the redevelopment of the former Dayton’s and Macy’s stores in downtown Minneapolis.

The Dayton’s Project. Image courtesy of JLL Capital Markets

601W Cos., the owner and developer of The Dayton’s Project, a historic redevelopment of the former Dayton’s and Macy’s stores into Class A office, retail and dining space, has secured $250 million in new financing for the 1.2 million-square-foot project at 700 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The Telos Group and United Properties are part of the development team.

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JLL Capital Markets arranged the three-year, floating-rate loan through a joint venture between Winthrop Strategic Real Estate Fund and funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC. The JLL Capital Markets team working exclusively for 601W Cos. was led by Senior Managing Directors Jaime Fink, Jeffrey Bramson, Bruce Miller and Keith Largay.

The new financing paid off a $145.6 million construction loan from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a $78 million mezzanine loan held by Monarch Alternative Capital that was at the heart of a recent legal dispute between 601W Cos. and Monarch, according to the Twin Cities Business.

Monarch, a New York City-based hedge fund which acquired the mezzanine loan in February, claimed the developers were in default on their financing for missing leasing deadlines. The only tenant announced for the $350 million redevelopment project is national accounting firm Ernst & Young. The firm said in March it was leasing 30,000 square feet and expects to move 800 employees into the 12-story building in November, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported. The project’s leasing efforts have been hampered by the pandemic and fallout from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In June, 601W Cos. sued Monarch, which then advertised an Aug. 23 foreclosure sale of 601W’s equity interests in the property. A Hennepin County district judge granted 601W a temporary injunction in early August to secure new financing.

Redevelopment plans

Now that the legal wrangling has been completed, 601W is moving forward with its repositioning plans. The New York-based company that currently owns and manages about 21 million square feet of commercial properties across the U.S. acquired the property in March 2017 from Macy’s Inc. for $59 million. The property was originally a Dayton’s department store which opened in 1902. It operated as Marshall Field’s from 2001 to 2006, when Macy’s took over.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and the developers and architecture firm Gensler have retained and restored many of the original features such as the Art Deco bathrooms and JB Hudson Jewelers space. The property includes about 850,000 square feet of office space, including speculative pre-built office suites, and more than 200,000 square feet of dining and retail space with a 45,000-square-foot food hall and market. Office amenities include a 10,000-square-foot fitness center, library, private lounge and rooftop terrace with a Winter Lounge.

The Dayton’s Project is located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis along the famed skyway. It is surrounded by retail, cultural, hospitality and entertainment offerings as well as numerous corporate neighbors. The property is convenient to major thoroughfares including Interstates 394, 94 and 35W that provide connectivity throughout the Greater Minneapolis and St. Paul area.

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