Twin Cities Real Estate Trivia

Today’s Star Tribune has a terrific story explaining how Southdale, Rosedale, etc. came by their (locally) famous suffixes.

See, “Why Do So Many Twin Cities Mall Names End in ‘Dale’?

Meanwhile, yours truly knows the answer to an even more obscure question: “How did Roseville’s HarMar Mall get its name?”

Answer: it’s a truncated mash-up of the first names of the couple who originally built and owned it, Harold and Marie Slawik (“HARold and MARie”).

Legal Lesson

And how exactly do I know that?? (you ask).

Because, once upon a time — 30 years ago, to be exact — one of my first assignments as a Summer law clerk was to update the shopping center’s very dated lease (the mall was a client of my then-employer, law firm Hart, Bruner & O’Brien).

I diligently labored over the new-and-improved document for a full week, and ultimately came up with a state-of-the-art, 44 page retail lease with every conceivable legal bell & whistle.

Instead of praise when I presented my masterpiece, however, I got a tongue-lashing.

“You idiot!,”  the partner yelled at me.

“This mall is full of small, Mom & Pop businesses who are going to be scared silly by what you drafted. Tear this up, and bring me back a one-page document!”

Just to compound the sting, the partner let me know that (almost) all of my time on the project would have to be written off as non-billable.

I’ve never forgotten that lesson in 18 years selling residential real estate . . .

P.S.: Corollary to the above: “If there’s trust and good faith between two parties, a one-page contract is plenty. If there isn’t (trust and good faith) . . . . a 100-page contract isn’t nearly enough.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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