Exeter Group began in the early 1990s with the development of a seven lot residential subdivision in an upscale Twin Cities neighborhood. Its first building project was a vacant corporate campus nearby which the company expanded for a new anchor tenant. In the decade that followed, Exeter Group focused on “high street” retail development in various urban locations, including six buildings on St. Paul’s premier Grand Avenue commercial corridor, many leased to national fashion and home furnishing retailers and successful restaurateurs.
The company first ventured into the multifamily field at a prominent location in old St. Anthony overlooking the Mississippi River and Downtown Minneapolis. The project had 93 luxury residential condominiums in two blue glass towers built above a retail podium master leased to a Lunds & Byerlys grocery store. The condos sold out even though they opened shortly before the real estate crash of 2008. This mixed-use example has since been replicated by other developers elsewhere in the Twin Cities.
Exeter Group continued its multifamily focus with a large historic renovation project in 2012 on the new Green Line transit corridor connecting the Downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This building joined the trend for urban transit-oriented residential development in the Twin Cities. Along with other projects to follow, it utilized federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits as part of its capital stack.
The company’s most ambitious use of this financing tool was Custom House, the conversion of the former United States Post Office and Custom House on the Mississippi River in Downtown St. Paul into luxury apartments, a Hyatt Place Hotel, and other uses. This 740,000 square foot project was completed in 2016 and has been recognized nationally for its large-scale adaptive reuse.
Exeter Group has other projects underway and continues to pursue unique real estate opportunities throughout the Twin Cities.