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 continues to fare well, despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The underlying strength of the local economy will allow this market to fully rebound quickly once the economy completely reopens and vaccines become widely available.

Office Market

The pandemic has prompted a great deal of speculation about the future of the office market. Much of this is due to the possibility that a long-term shift to remote work for some employees could reduce the need for office space, increasing vacancies and lowering rents.
Whether the Ramsey County office market in on this path is not entirely clear. Because of the lack of market activity, both in new lease signings and property sales, the level of possible market contraction is not entirely known.
However, since the pandemic started, local vacancy rates have increased very little, and new lease deals are similar to pre-pandemic deals. Furthermore, it is entirely likely that the demand for office space post-pandemic will change little, with a greater need for larger spaces and the possibility that employees in the office two or three days a week will still require their own space.

Retail Market

It has been a challenging period for retail properties since the start of the pandemic. Many of the structural headwinds that existed prior to the pandemic such as the rise of e-commerce, have been exacerbated since it began. It has been a particularly challenging period for the restaurant industry, with several closing their doors in the last several months. Those with robust quick-serve operations are doing best and some are thriving. 
Grocery and big box stores are also doing very well, as are certain shopping centers anchored by these stores. Overall, a great deal of optimism exists in this market segment post-pandemic. 
Certain projects appear to be on hold, however Rosedale’s planned expansion and redevelopment of the south side of the mall is moving forward. Others, including the 150,000 square feet of retail planned for Saint Paul’s Highland Bridge development, and several small format projects underway throughout the county, have plans in the works as well.

Hotel/Motel Market

Prior to the pandemic, the Ramsey County hotel/motel market experienced significant increases in new supply, including the newly opened SpringHill suites in downtown Saint Paul, and the Avid Hotel in Roseville. However, with sizable decreases in both business and leisure travel activity, the market has struggled. For many properties, occupancy has dropped significantly. Economy and extended-stay hotels have fared best, and a much stronger market is expected as the region emerges from the pandemic.            

Estimated Market Value Totals

Estimated market value percent changes from 2020 to 2021 assessments.

Percent Change by City of Saint Paul and Suburbs

Countywide Percent Change

Median Estimated Market Value

Percent Change By Jurisdiction

Percent Change By City of Saint Paul and Suburbs

Percent Change Countywide