The commercial summary identifies trends in the commercial property market including median property value and percent change. Retail and office space are two of the various commercial uses discussed in this section.

Market Summary

The Ramsey County commercial real estate market is overall very stable. The retail market continues to exhibit surprising strength, the hotel market is experiencing a recovery, and the office market continues to adjust to the new hybrid and remote work models.

Office Market

Local office vacancy rates are beginning to tick upwards, largely due to the continued use of hybrid and remote work models, which incentivize large companies to consolidate office footprints. Amid a rise in the amount of vacant inventory, asking rents are beginning to decrease. Due to a lack of new office construction locally, rent and vacancies could begin to improve long-term.
In downtown Saint Paul, several properties were removed from the total universe of office space, being converted to apartment use. This has likely contributed to stabilizing vacancy rates for the downtown office market. In fact, the overall vacancy rate for downtown actually decreased last year, going from 24.2% to 22.45%.
There are several reasons for optimism. At 3.2%, the local unemployment rate remains at a historic low, and the economy continues to grow. Both of these metrics, in addition to more employers requiring some office attendance by their employees, could bode well for the office market moving forward.

Retail Market

Most, if not all, retail market metrics are moving in the right direction. Employment is up, construction of new spaces is down, rents are up and vacancies are down. In fact, at year-end 2023, metro area retail vacancy matched its March 2020 measure, taken just before the onset of the global pandemic.
As mentioned, new construction of retail space remains limited. This has contributed to high occupancy rates in most areas. Recent new construction consists of the completion of a Menards in Maplewood, the start of a Dick’s Sporting Goods store at Rosedale Center (Mall), and several smaller retail outlets throughout the county, including a new pickle ball facility in Roseville.
The founders of Frogtown's HmongTown Marketplace are expanding to the long vacant Sears department store at Maplewood Mall. Future plans for the space include a 50,000 square foot grocery store as well as dozens of smaller vendors. Saint Paul’s vacant Sears store has also been sold, with redevelopment plans in the works.
The strength of the retail market has been a somewhat surprising development coming out of the pandemic. Despite the success of e-commerce, many retailers are finding that a physical presence is still needed. Other retailers continue to expand, and overall consumer demand remains strong.

Hotel/Motel Market

A slow recovery continues for the local hotel/motel market. Occupancy, average daily rates and revenue generated per available room are all up locally over the last year. The suburban Ramsey County hotel/motel market is recovering more quickly than the downtown Saint Paul market, with limited service performing better than full-service hotels. Although business travel and conference activity has increased, it continues to be below pre-pandemic levels, which has slowed the recovery for the downtown market.

Estimated Market Value Totals

Estimated market value percent changes from 2023 to 2024 assessments.

Median Estimated Market Value

Visit the property value and assessment page for more information.