Excelsior buys, leases back Christopher & Banks building

By Matt Johnson - Finance & Commerce

May 1, 2018

Christopher & Banks has signed a 15-year lease for the office-warehouse building at 2400 Xenium Lane in Plymouth it sold to The Excelsior Group on March 27. (Photo: CoStar)

The Excelsior Group has swooped in to buy Christopher & Banks Corp.’s corporate headquarters in a sale-leaseback deal that will give the women’s clothier some financial breathing room.

An entity related to St. Louis Park-based Excelsior paid $13.65 million for the 221,330-square-foot office-warehouse building at 2400 Xenium Lane in Plymouth, according to a certificate of real estate value made public on Tuesday.

The price works out to $61.67 per square foot. Christopher & Banks was the seller. The deal closed on March 27.

The building – which is in the southeast quadrant of Highway 55 and Interstate 494 – had been on the market since December, said Colin Ryan, a senior vice president with the Twin Cities office of Colliers International. Ryan, along with Terese Reiling, Mark Kolsrud and David Berglund, represented Christopher & Banks in the sale.

Christopher & Banks received about a dozen offers for the property, Ryan said. Although the building dates to 1972, it garnered attention for its proximity to major roads and for its status as a corporate headquarters and national distribution hub, he said.

“This is very much their mission critical facility,” Ryan said in an interview Tuesday.

About 20 percent of the space in the building is devoted to use as offices.

Christopher & Banks has signed a 15-year lease for the building, Ryan said.

The publicly traded company has spent the past few years weathering a downturn in its business. The company has reduced its number of stores from 608 at the start of 2013 to 463 at the end of last year, according to its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has also posted net income losses in each of the past three years, losses that total $88.9 million for that period.

The sale-leaseback will contribute to the company’s bottom line, according to Keri Jones, Christopher & Banks’ CEO.

“This sale-leaseback transaction, once completed, will provide greater financial flexibility as we execute on our strategic initiatives to drive improved performance,” she said in a press release.

Christopher & Banks expects to pay out a net expense of about $300,000 in the first year of its lease with Excelsior, according to the release.

Andy Finn, Excelsior’s senior vice president of commercial investments, was not immediately available Tuesday to comment on the deal.