Aug
04

MN Snapshot: Builder Shifts Focus to Downtown St. Cloud

By: Anne Bretts August 3, 2017*

Developer Douglas Boser of St. Cloud-based Inventure Properties has unveiled plans for Providence One, a new $15 million, 60,000-square-foot office building at 24 Eighth Ave. S., in downtown St. Cloud, Minnesota. (Submitted photo: Inventure Properties) 

Editor’s note: Minnesota Snapshot reports interesting sales and development projects happening throughout Minnesota. The transactions are based on the certificates of real estate value filed with the state Department of Revenue, copies of which are available with the story here. Other items may come from government agendas and news releases.

While some people kick back during the summer, St. Cloud builder and developer Douglas J. Boser can’t wait to get to work.

After two decades of building Sauk Rapids-based Boser Construction Inc. into a company with 60 employees and $30 million in annual revenue, he sold it in April to focus on his passion for development, mainly in downtown St. Cloud.

“No town is great without a great downtown,” he said.

In July Boser moved his Inventure Properties to the Bensen Brothers Building, built in 1891 at 117 1/2 Fifth Ave. S. in downtown.

In his newest project, Boser plans to replace an aging one-story building at 24 Eighth Ave. S. with Providence One, a modern $15 million, three-story office building designed to fit its historic downtown surroundings. The 60,000-square-foot building’s look is inspired by the renovated warehouses in Minneapolis and St. Paul – the kind of industrial buildings St. Cloud’s downtown lacks, Boser said.

“We need the kind of buildings millennials like,” he said.

Boser doesn’t break ground until September, but already is working out design details with four tenants who will lease the whole building.

Boser is hardly a newcomer to downtown.

Boser’s $3 million restoration of the historic First National Bank Building was recently honored as one of Finance & Commerce’s Top Projects of 2016. He now is planning to do a restoration of the 505 Building, next door to the bank.

Boser, a farm boy from Pierz, has been in construction since he first picked up a hammer and became a carpenter. He has been doing development for a decade, and said he felt drawn to do more, but had responsibilities to his construction clients and employees.

“That’s a stress that never goes away,” he said.

Boser sold the business to a buyer group led by employees Ryan Cross and Dustin Vaverek. Cross, who has been with the company five years, will continue to lead day-to-day operations. Vaverek – Boser’s very first employee — is senior project manager.

Boser called the sale a perfect opportunity for everyone involved. Vaverek agrees.

“He enjoys construction, but enjoys the development a lot more,” said Vaverek, who already is the project manager for Providence One.

Boser credits Shannon Wiger and Brian Schoenborn of Springhill Capital, his frequent partners on projects, with helping spur investment in downtown, creating momentum that has kept businesses thriving despite major road construction this summer.

There is more work to be done, like Providence One, but Boser believes the area has reached critical mass.

“We’re going to make a downtown,” he said.

Boser has interests and projects beyond downtown. He’s heading to the Planning Commission this month to submit plans to develop two new office buildings in the southern part of the city.

The company also owns and manages a portfolio of 19 commercial buildings, including the ones he has restored and redeveloped.

With just a handful of employees and the freedom to juggle several projects at once, Boser isn’t feeling stressed at all.

“I have a smile on my face all the time,” he said.

 

*Article posted with permission from Finance-commerce.com.