Behind the Scenes of Some of Central Minnesota’s Biggest Real Estate Deals
You can say Inventure keeps the lights on.
On paper, the business is essentially a real estate firm – Buying. Selling. Leasing. But that broad definition doesn’t quite fit the model Doug Boser and team embrace on behalf of the clients and communities they serve. “When I say firm it’s more of a well-rounded business in terms that we certainly do that. That’s the easy stuff. That’s what a lot of firms do. What makes Inventure unique is that we’ve created a portfolio of properties that we own and operate across the state of Minnesota on behalf of ourselves and our partners. By virtue of that, we needed maintenance and facilities. So we have a facilities arm that basically takes care of each property,” Boser, Inventure’s President and CEO, explained.
In a nutshell, Inventure is a team of trusted advisors dedicated to developing innovative commercial real estate solutions that create lasting value for our clients and communities.
They keep the lights on. And yes, “we walk buildings, and we make sure the heat’s on,” Boser added. There’s nothing the team won’t do on behalf of a project’s success.
Focusing on Expertise
Think about it this way. People often have relationships with someone that helps them with their 401k investing activities—a financial advisor. That’s their specialty. Boser connects the dots on a larger scale, noting, “We are financial advisors. We just happen to use real estate as our vehicle. We help people invest in real estate where they normally might not have the insight or ability to do so. Inventure Properties does that in the form of commercial real estate, serving the industrial, institutional, office and medical sectors.”
There’s an obvious element of advising to Inventure’s core business strategy. Boser talked about the expansion Toppan Merril in Sartell undertook in 2019 and 2020. As a multi-billion dollar capital market company, Toppan Merrill knows its business, but needed some outside perspective on the idea of expansion. The company added a $9 million investment of 70,00sq. ft. of office, warehouse, and production space to its existing 100,000 sq. ft. facility. Not a small project by any means.
Boser explained, “I had a relationship with Mike (Zimny, VP of Operations at Toppan Merrill) and we connected to collaborate on finding the best architect and contractor for the expansion project. Inventure acts like the eyes and ears for the owners. We help them develop based on our niche skill set of construction, where they (Toppan Merrill) have a skillset of printing. We helped them determine what they truly needed and what made the most sense. Then we really let the architects and the contractors do their jobs. It’s harmonious, but we protect the owners time and budget by identifying what may cause cost overruns, and by managing schedules and day to day communication with the construction teams. We’re business advisors in just about every sense of the word.”
The Solution … Solution
So much of business development and growth is about natural problem solving, especially where the element of finite land is concerned. There’s only so much of it to go around—what is the best use of property and how will people and businesses benefit from working with a firm like Inventure?
Boser explains, “We come up with solutions when many times, it seems like there are no solutions. We bought a piece of property in Sartell several years ago and literally, five different developers were trying to buy it but couldn’t get the family to sell it. We figured out the solution with the family that made sense to everyone involved. In the city of Richmond, we just opened a business park. Similar story, two separate developers before us approached the city and tried to develop it. Neither could get the initiative across the finish line. Our team gets involved many months later, and together we know it’s going to be a great project. We are going to move the needle for the city of Richmond and that’s what matters to us.”
As a development and real estate firm, Inventure focuses continuously on growth. When asked about Central Minnesota’s growth, Boser considered how St. Cloud Shines factors into that projection. He said, “When I first started looking at the St. Cloud Shine’s initiative, I was doing downtown council work as its President. I was immediately struck, thinking wow, this is moving the needle already. And it was done extremely well. The stories, the enlightenment they bring, and showing that we are a better community than we think we are. We are very diverse, but we can’t be so closed-minded that we think that diversity hurts us. Quite the opposite—that diversity helps us and enables us to grow together. Being able to shine a light on that? We get to feel good about something. St. Cloud Shines is something people can get happy about. I think about Central Minnesota—its people and its businesses—by using the gratitude practice of three good things. Are there three good things happening in your day in St. Cloud? And why can’t we talk about them? Why can’t we celebrate them? We can and we should. The St. Cloud Shines project does that.”—Doug Boser, President & CEO, Inventure