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The POWER 30: Alyssa M. Troje

We don’t know what the office landscape will be like in downtown Minneapolis a few years after the pandemic, but right now there is plenty of construction going on. Commercial office leasing downtown slowed some during the pandemic, although it has picked up in the suburbs, said Alyssa Troje of Fredrikson & Byron.

Warehouse space is also popular right now. Retailers have a backlog of inventory and may be selling their goods at discount. Some retail leases are based on a percentage of in-store sales, and that may reduce the rent to the landlords.

That’s one of many “floating issues” in real property right now, said Troje. “Probably a lot of businesses are taking a look at how they do business,” she said. Their answers to those questions will be an important consideration for downtown Minneapolis post-pandemic, Troje said.

Some must be confident about the future of downtown, judging by Minneapolis’ road and utility construction as well as private projects. The massive RBC Gateway project going up at Washington and Hennepin avenues is 1.2 million square feet and 37 stories high and will include commercial, condominium and hotel space. Hennepin Avenue is in the midst of reconstruction, and the streets that aren’t closed have increased traffic.

Troje’s practice is largely transactional work — commercial leasing and sales. She does some real estate litigation and finds it rewarding, but she prefers to be a problem solver for clients. That’s what clients want, and it allows for a flexible schedule, which is important to the mother of three daughters.

Troje also has a background in commercial litigation, corporate transactions, bankruptcy and estate planning. She served on the team that guided the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis through its $210 million bankruptcy reorganization.

Troje started her career working for her father, David Libra of Lapp Libra Stoebner and Pusch before moving to DeWitt and now Fredrikson, where she has practiced for the last three years.

She also has recently begun her term as chair of the Real Property Section of the Hennepin County Bar Association. A big part of the HCBA’s work is providing CLE and other education to members. During the pandemic that programming was “different,” as Minnesotans say. “It was kind of a challenge,” said Troje. On the other hand, that offered attendees increased convenience and flexibility, she said. People found ways to connect and talk about their practices even with remote participation, she said.

Connecting with other lawyers never ceases to be important. Troje has written articles about breaking into the real property practice and giving important “get started” advice to new lawyers. At first, try for exposure to many different aspects of real property law, and find out what you’re curious about. The field is huge and it’s easy to be overwhelmed, Troje said.

Another important thing to do is ask for help, be it from a title examiner, another lawyer or a formal mentor. “Other real estate lawyers are extremely generous with using their time to talk through issues.”

 

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